Over a week after the April 7 deadline set by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to sort out the fuel scarcity in the country, independent filling stations still sell fuel for prices ranging between N150 and N180.
While the major marketers have remained committed to the standard pump price of N86.50, the long queues at those filling stations have chased many customers to smaller filling stations who took advantage of the situation to sell the product for between N150 and N180, which is an improvement on the initial N200 and N220 they sold the product a week earlier.
According to motorists, the queues at some of the major filling stations were so long that people had to abandon their cars till the following days; a development which they said was always easily remedied by driving into smaller filling stations, which had no queues but sold beyond the pump price.
Petrol price drops from N240 to N200 in Enugu
The price of petrol in Enugu State continued to drop as fuel crisis eased within the metropolis.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that two out of every three filling stations in Enugu presently had fuel as the price of the commodity dropped to between N180 and N200 in the last three days.
A correspondent of NAN, who went round the metropolis on Saturday, reported that most members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had been supplied.
It was, however, observed that some of the marketers preferred selling in the evening hours.
At the NNPC and Conoil filling stations, the product sold for N86 and N86.50 respectively but with long queues.
The Manager of Emmapet Filling Station, Agbani Road, Mr Emeka Ocha, said that the increase in supply had affected prices by pushing the prices down.
“We must thank the Federal Government for this relief. We are now selling at N180, as against about N240 we sold three weeks ago and we hope it will drop drastically when we get our next stock from the government depot in Lagos,’’ Ocha said.
The Zonal Operational Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr Peter Igeh, said that the department had received copies of schedule of filling stations in Enugu already allotted truck(s) of fuel in government-owned depot.
“When we must have finished monitoring in Nsukka and its environs; we would storm Enugu to clamp down on stations that received fuel from government depot but either refused to sell at approved price or hoard the product,’’ Igeh told NAN.
Fuel still sells for N300 in Port Harcourt
More than six weeks into the lingering fuel crisis and in spite of assurances of availability, the product still sells for as high as N300 per litre within the Port Harcourt metropolis in Rivers State.
This is more disturbing given the fact that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reportedly claimed that about five million litres of PMS was lifted from the Port Harcourt Refinery, within the week, to ease fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.
Investigation by Sunday Tribune around the state capital revealed that some major marketers were even selling fuel far above the recommended N86.50 pump price.
Some of them, including Conoil at Lagos Bus Stop and AP at the Eastern Bypass, sold fuel at N250 and N220 per litre, as of Saturday morning.
Most independent marketers also sold within the same price range, even as the black marketers are still making fortunes from the scarcity as they sold for as high as N300 per litre.
However, despite the high cost, there were no long queues, as motorists and other end-users easily walked into most of the filling stations to buy the product.
Sacrificial offering at Ekiti petrol station causes stir
By Sam Nwaoko -Ado Ekiti
There was confusion in parts of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, when residents in search of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were said to have been faced with a sacrificial offering placed in front of a popular petrol station in the town recently.
Sunday Tribune gathered that the fetish object was placed at the petrol station by some unidentified people ostensibly to scare the station from continuing in the selling of the product, which still sells for about N180 in the state.
Witnesses claimed that the incident had occurred during the time the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Ekiti State had gone on strike as a result of their crisis with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Ekiti IPMAN members, through their Chairman, Ayodele Owoeye, who was represented by Alhaji Sulaiman Akinbami, had addressed newsmen in Ado Ekiti and accused the NSCDC of harassment of their members, seizure of their tankers and arrest and detention of their drivers.
IPMAN members had withdrawn their tankers from operation and this had heightened the already biting scarcity in the state.
But while the scarcity and face-off raged, the affected petrol station was said to have been able to move its products for sale, without hindrance, and was actually selling the product at N86.50 per litre.
While this was said to have elated the masses buying the product, it became a source of anger for some, who many had alleged were IPMAN members.
Thus, when the sacrificial object was found in front of the petrol station, the buying public believed it was the handiwork of the angry IPMAN members, culminating into an agry reaction by commercial motorcyclists.
Witnesses said the infuriated commercial motorcyclists reportedly carried the sacrifice to the petrol station belonging to one of the senior members of IPMAN in the state, located in the same neighbourhood and dumped the items there.
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