Nigerian oil dealers are currently hamstrung concerning getting dollars to clear about 75 ships carrying 2.5 million tonnes of fuel, Reuters has quoted a ship tracking data as reporting.
The report says some of the vessels arrived close to the shores of the country about a month ago with the owners battling to no avail to get them cleared.
Photo of a cargo ship.
Nigerians have continued to suffer high prices of premium motor spirit even after the government deregulated it and pegged the amount at N145 per litre.
The government urged entities to come into the business of importing fuel but cautioned that such organisations must be ready to source for dollar themselves.
This has resulted in a near-extreme scarcity of dollar in the country as marketers have resorted to the parallel markets to source for the foreign currency. Currently, the naira is over N350 t0 a dollar at the parallel market.
Reuters quoted Alan Cameron, an economist covering Africa with Exotix Partners, as saying:“The risk is that the parallel rate will depreciate even more, giving the marketers a pretext for yet further price increases at the pump.”
In spite of the challenges that followed the deregulation, the Nigerian government said on Friday it had no other choice than increase the pump price of premium motor spirit, also called petrol from N86.50 to N145 per litre.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information, said the policy has become inevitable in order to halt the crippling fuel scarcity in the country and ensure availability of the product.
The minister, who stated this at the inauguration of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) marketers conference in Lagos on Friday, said only the liberalisation of petrol supply will ensure the availability of the products.