Nigerian manufacturers are lamenting over the rising cost of fuel in the West African nation with a call on the Federal Government to cushion them as a litre of diesel is now sold at N720 (an equivalent of $1.73).

According to the Manufacturers Association, it is getting extremely difficult to produce to serve the country in the face of fuel hikes coupled with load shedding.

“There is no power supply. We are having 30 per cent of what it used to be, whereas the disposable income of people is not increasing and the cost of products is going up.

“Even in my factory now, we are only running one shift instead of three shifts of eight hours each. Other businesses are also running limited hours on diesel as they cannot afford to use generators all day,” Mr Lanre Popoola, Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo branches said in an interview with the media.

According to him, if the situation persisted, it could lead to bigger issues that would further affect the nation’s economy and increase the hardship of Nigerians.

He told the press that “The worst part is that diesel suppliers cannot agree for organisations to make a flexible payment plan such as instalments, while they deliver the products in trust.

“They cannot, again, supply you with diesel and allow you to pay in two weeks. It is either you do cash and carry, or pay ahead because they too cannot predict the cost of the product.

“And I don’t blame them. Imagine you bought diesel last week at N630 per litre and the next day it is sold for N730 per litre. How will you replace your stock,” he said.

Popoola stated that the way forward was for the government to assist manufacturers by giving some rebate on diesel, adding that, that was the only lifeline.

“Aside from manufacturers, for transporters that are bringing food from the North or taking products to the East or Lagos, now the cost of their logistics would have doubled by 100 per cent if not 200 per cent.

“Maybe the government can come in and do a kind of palliative for us. It is either we have light 24 hours per week to run our factories or do a palliative on diesel.

“But unfortunately, we don’t produce diesel in this country. If the refineries are working, it is a different ball game: the country would have had it better now if the refineries are working.

“So the more the international prices of petroleum products go up, the higher the prices of what we are going to get from them,” Popoola explained.




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