By Chinora Ugwu
The call for refining crude in Nigeria gathers momentum as marketers face challenges importing refined petroleum products.
The Director, Research and Advocacy, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Vicent Nwani, made this call in an exclusive interview with Chichetcom in Lagos.
He stated that marketers go through challenges in importing refined petroleum products in terms of sourcing for forex which has become a major challenge. Industrialists, parents paying for their children school fees abroad and importers of cars are not left out in this challenge of sourcing for dollars.
He hailed Aliko Dangote drive in building a Petrol Chemical Refinery in Lekki Free Trade Zone here in Nigeria.
“If we refine our crude here in Nigeria all these huddles associated with importation of petroleum products will be a thing of the past. So also the challenge of the big Ship conveying the product betting first at neigbouring countries and then, smaller ship start bringing it into the country there by making marketers to pay more’’, he said.
“This happens because of transparency and efficiency of the Sea Ports operation in the neigbouring countries than here in Nigeria. Formerly, six agencies were found in the port but now it is14 agencies. There by duplicating functions and operation in the sea port. This has adverse effect on businesses as importers and exporters groan’’.
There should be rehabilitation of storage facilities in the ports to preserve goods and raw materials imported or exported through the ports. Another issue is the excesses of customs which should b addressed’’, he said.
He revealed that LCCI is working on Ports Reforms and clean- up of the ports to address the challenges importers and exporters go through in their business operation.
Speaking on the return of subsidy on petrol, he said that everybody in Nigeria is not comfortable with the subsidy regime as it has been abused and abused. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has not old Nigerians and how much spent in subsidizing the products. The Corporation has been a major players in importation of petrol but other players are allowed to source for Dollar and import. Dr. Nwani however, said as a result of recession, Nigerians call for subsidy but there should be reforms in the operation.