- Dealers close stations in Ondo, reject N86.50/litre
Despite the stern warning issued black marketers of premium motor spirit, these hawkers are still seen within the Federal Capital Territory displaying the product.
This is as product dealers in Ondo State yesterday shut all filling stations due to alleged harrasment by task force and security agents.
It would be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase on Tuesday ordered confiscation and arrest of hawkers of petrol.
One of the black marketers who simply identified himself as Abdullahi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Central Business Area of the city, claimed that “if I don’t sell black market how do I survive; do they want me to steal so that I can be sent to Kuje (prison)? Selling fuel during scarcity has really helped me a lot.”
A motorist who at the same spot on queue at the NNPC filling station, Mr Ifeanyi Amaechi said, “Why do we like fooling ourselves in this country? The same fuel we queue for several hours to buy and some even sleep in filling stations across the country is the same fuel they sell to these boys during the night. So if the government is really sincere about fighting the scarcity why not start with the marketers who create artificial scarcity?” he asked.
Almost all the filling stations visited by Nigerian Pilot, from the Airport Road to Kubwa and other places within the metropolis, the presence of these boys were noted, and they seemed not perturbed by the IGP’s order.
However, a call was placed to the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, but no response from him as he did not pick his call.
Fuel dealers close stations in Ondo, reject N86:50k/litre
Meanwhile, following the sealing off of about 10 filling stations in Ondo State by the officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the Owners of Petroleum Filling stations Association on Wednesday ordered the closure of all filling stations in the state.
Speaking on the development, the chairman and secretary of the association in the state, Prince Adefolajimi Adedapo, and Michael Ale, respectively, said the association decided to embark on the strike over alleged harassment and intimidation by DPR officials, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, the police and the task force on petroleum in the state.
According to Adedapo, members of the association were being forced to sell Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, at N86.50 by government agencies while many of their stations had been sealed.
He said “since we have not gotten the products at the approved price and we buy at depot between N135 and N145 per litre in Lagos and Warri, there is no way we could sell the product at approved price. And we are in business to make profit and we are under obligation to pay taxes, we find it difficult to sell at a loss.”
He called on government to enforce the regulated price from the depots all over the country and not at the outlets if government was really serious in enforcing the pump price.
He challenged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to make public the number of trucks approved for loading to Ondo State on daily basis.
“It is not cheering that some of our members have paid the official rate since December 2015 and are yet to get the products as at now. You know the financial implications of this,” Adedapo said.
He, however, said that the problem could be minimise if NNPC and Petroleum and Pipeline Marketing Company, PPMC, could increase the volume of product through transfer from Mosimi, Ejigbo and Ibadan Depots to Ore Depots instead of concentrating on mega stations and major outlets.
“The DPR and Civil Defence Corps should divert their attention to depots and ensure compliance with the regulated price of PMS from source from major marketers’ depots and private marketers depots.
“Government should ensure availability of the product in Ore Depot, which had been abandoned for over three years.
“We do not derive joy in going about depots looking for fuel with high attendant risks. We need to do business with rest of mind,” Adedapo stated.