Motorists lament over hike PMS pump price

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Some motorists have lament over the increase in price of petrol arising from its unavailability in most filling stations.

Correspondent, who monitored some filling stations in Osogbo, the state capital and its environs, reports that even with petrol being sold between N280 and N300 per litre, long vehicular queues where seen at the few fuel stations with the commodity.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA) had on Jan. 5, sealed eight filling stations in Osun for allegedly selling petrol above the government-approved pump price of N165 per litre.

The NMDPRA Coordinator in the state, Mr Kunle Adeyemo, during the exercise had said that the agency’s routine surveillance of filling stations was aimed at sensitising the public that the pump price of petrol approved by the Federal Government had not changed.

Adeyemo also assured that the authority would sustain its daily surveillance operation until all marketers within the state revert to the government-approved price.

A motorist in Osogbo, Mr Joseph Efunkunle, complained about the inconsistency in price of petrol in most filling stations he had visited.

Efunkunle said that petrol was sold at N300 per litre at Okanlawon filling which had a long queue of vehicles that spilled to the main road.

He said that at some filling stations fuel was sold between N280 and N285 per litre in Osogbo and the outskirt, while majority sold at N300 per litre in other areas of the state.

Also, Mr Lawal Adbdullahi, a civil servant, appealed to governments at all levels to intervene in making the commodity available and also at affordable price.

Abdullahi said that the need to remove petroleum subsidy was paramount only if the commodity could be made available to the end users.

He said that the so-called cabals in the oil industry must be checkmated if the issue of price hike or scarcity would be resolved permanently.

Abdullahi said the scarcity of fuel had led to increase in prices of foodstuffs and other daily consumables.

Mr Bukola Mutiu, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in charge of Oyo and Osun, in an interview with newsmen in Osogbo on Tuesday, said that the Federal Government should remove petroleum subsidy for the masses to enjoy the product.

Mutiu said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was faced with challenges of getting petroleum products to its conventional depots especially in South-West, adding that the five depots in the region were not functional.

“We have depots in Ibadan, Ore, Mosimi, Ejigbo (Eko) and Ilorin and none of them is working despite owned by NNPC. There are 21 NNPC depots across the country with none of them working.

“Also, since the commodity cannot get to conventional depots of NNPC, they resort to using private depots that are effective, to drop fuel in order to get to the masses through IPMAN.

“We load the products at an official rate of N152 from private depots after NNPC might have given them at a cheaper rate of N113 per litre and they sell to marketers at N180 or thereabout, on or before now, but recently things have gone worse.

“For over six months now, private depots have blocked the avenue of getting petroleum products to buy from them, giving flimsy excuses.

“And recently, on Jan. 23, we bought such commodity from the private depots at the rate of N275 per liter without them conveying such commodity for us,’’ he said.

Mutiu further said that the association had written severally to NNPC in Abuja on the dangers of hike in price of fuel before now, adding that he was among the committee members that visited the Corporation in Abuja.

“I was among those that visited NNPC in Abuja telling them of the present realities that we are facing and the need for them to do the needful.

“We buy PMS at an outrageous amount from the private depots and that is why you are seeing our members selling to motorists at an expensive price.

The IPMAN executive added that some major marketers like BOVAS, among others, who sell PMS at an official rate, do have depots of their own and load from the depots to their filling stations.

“We want to buy this product directly from NNPC, and not from third parties, so as to make the end users enjoy such at a reasonable price.

“I believe once this is addressed, there will be reduction in price of PMS and not what motorists are facing now,” Mutiu said.