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Oil marketers accuse NPA, NIMASA of collecting port charges in dollars

The Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to obey President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s directive on naira transactions for port charges.

This is contained in a statement by Mahmood Tukur, vice-chairman II, Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) on Sunday.

The government, through its downstream regulator, and based on an agreement with stakeholders, directed port charges to be collected in naira.

The directive was contained in a communique issued in November 2021 and signed by heads of the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and DAPPMAN.

Mr Tukur alleged that the agencies failed to comply with directives and continued to collect charges in dollars.

“Government gave directives that these agencies should henceforth charge marketers in naira. But that had not been implemented; that’s a major challenge. The dollar price is practically driven by demand. If there is no supply, obviously, the price will rise. So, every time a vessel needs to berth, we have to pay port charges in dollars,” Mr Tukur explained.

He added, “But we are saying that can be paid in naira. That’s one way of actually taking demand (for dollars) out of the market, and it will cool the forex effects. If these products are consumed locally and destined for local ports, why are the NPA and NIMASA charging in dollars?”

According to DAPPMAN chairwoman Winifred Akpani, freight charges are denominated in dollars to charter a vessel that could convey 20,000 metric tonnes of petrol within Nigeria for 10 days.

“That comes to about N220 million at the official forex rate of N440, and a whooping N440 million for petroleum marketers who have to source forex in the parallel market at N880. This implies an additional cost of N11 per litre for this transaction due to the forex official/parallel market differential, Ms Akpani stated. “For this same transaction, jetty fees, again charged in dollars, come to N15.4 million at the official forex rate and N30.8 million for petroleum marketers who source from the parallel market.”

Similarly, a jetty berth is charged in dollars and comes to N2.2 million at the official forex rate and N4.4 million at the parallel market, according to the DAPPMAN chairwoman.

“Then there are port dues (NPA and NIMASA) charged in dollars, which come to N71.51 million at the official forex rate and N142.796 million for marketers who source forex from the parallel market,” she added.


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