Bad Roads: We Waste 70% Of Our Dollars On Vehicle Repairs -NOGASA

NOGASA President, Chief Benneth Okorie.

The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has revealed that over 70 percent of its dollars is wasted on vehicle repairs due to bad roads across the country, calling on the Federal Government to fix the roads so as to reduce its operation costs.

NOGASA President, Chief Benneth Okorie who disclosed this on Tuesday at a Press Conference in Abuja said, If the roads are fixed, vehicles could spend like 10 years without changing spare parts.

“We need to maintain our roads in Nigeria to reduce the rate of maintenance of our trucks. 70 percent of our dollar goes to spare parts. And these spare parts are vehicle spare parts and it is dollar that is going. If you fix the roads, the vehicle will spend like 10 years without spare parts. And Spare parts importation will reduce. And that will also reduce the operation costs”, he said.

He applauded the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Workers (NARTO) for the industrial action, pointing to the high cost of diesel in the country.

“I hear of NARTO withdrawing service, it was as a result of the high cost of diesel. You cannot go to Lagos or any part of the North to bring fuel at N1,700 diesel price. It is a suicide mission because nobody will make one kobo’’, he said.

Speaking further on how to solve the nation’s foreign exchange crisis, Chief Okorie advised the federal government to stop trading in dollars.

“Stop payments for all petroleum products in dollars. Allow the people to pay in naira, so they should remove this dollar. They should stop collecting dollars from people for any service.

“If you want dollars to buy whatever you need, go to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and get dollars, this should not be a reason for not collecting naira from us.

“What is this problem, if you buy Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at N 620 for example and you use diesel of N1,700 per litre because it is like the diesel and dollar are going up at the same time, which is wrong.

“So the answer to all these problems is that our refineries must come up and our refined products must be sold in naira. If for example crude is $80 per barrel, convert whatever is the amount of the government dollar rate, sell it to Nigerians in naira, not dollar,” he noted.

The NOGASA boss who said, the exchange rate volatility in the country was preventing the modular refineries from achieving full capacity, urged the government to peg the exchange rate at N750 as captured in the 2024 budget and ignore the black-market rate.

“Government should fix the price, and ignore the black-market rate. Our budget this year is N750 per dollar, so if the government can maintain the N750 to a dollar exchange rate, heaven will not fall. Let them peg it at N750 as they said in the budget then the crude oil that will be sold to Nigerians from the modular refineries would be sold at N750 per dollar, convert it and they will pay in naira”, he added

Chief Okorie warned that NOGASA members may go out of business by March if nothing is done urgently to address the issues, adding that Depot Owners are struggling to get money from the banks even at the high interest rate of over 30 percent.




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