•Asks minister to invstigate situation
• Fuel scarcity hits Port Harcourt, Edo
The Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned of a fresh nationwide fuel scarcity following what it calls profiteering by private depot owners.
The private depot owners are alleged to be selling Premium Motor Spirit at N98 per litre.
Fuel scarcity has already hit Port Harcourt and Edo State with a litre selling for between N120 and N140 where it is available at all.
Five litres is sold for a minimum of N750 at the black market.
IPMAN wants the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu to investigate why the private depot owners are selling far above the official price.
Vice President of IPMAN, Alhaji Abubakar Dakingari, speaking to The Nation by phone said a fresh fuel scarcity is imminent unless government steps in immediately.
He said, “I don’t know what the minister is going to do for us. If you watch, the fuel scarcity is resurfacing. The private depots are selling at the rate of N98 per litre. So we in IPMAN are seriously worried.”
He advised the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase supply as inadequate supply is the reason why the private depot owners are exploiting other Nigerians.
The official pump price for petrol is N86 for NNPC affiliate petrol stations and N86.50 per litre for Independent stations.
Dankigari said that it is impossible for the independent marketers to buy a product for N98 per litre and sell it for N86.50 per litre.
His words: “We want the NNPC that is supplying almost 78 per cent to increase its volume of supply because fuel scarcity is now imminent. There are already signs of petrol scarcity and the private depots owners have taken advantage of selling the product at a higher rate.
“And more so those private depot owners don’t have products and those that have the product are selling petrol at the rate of N98, which makes it difficult for independent marketers to buy that product because when they buy they will lose because they will have to sell at the rate of N86.50.
Motorists in Port Harcourt are currently paying through their nose to get fuel.
Investigation revealed that some marketers are not happy with federal government’s new pump price of N86.50 per litre.
Some residents who spoke to The Nation said the marketers should explain why they must go through another round of furl scarcity-induced suffering.
Mr. Johnson Ndubuisi said the latest scarcity coming so soon after the last one is bad enough.
Ndubuisi said: “Look at this ten litre fuel: I bought it for N1, 500. I don’t know the problem with these marketers who seem to prefer to sell to black marketers who in turn sell to us at exorbitant prices.
“Government must not allow them to continue to exploit us; some of them have the products but simply refuse to sell.”
There is no official reason yet for the scarcity in Port Harcourt.
The situation is similar in Edo state where a litre goes for N100 in some filling stations in Edo State and as much as between N150 and N200 at the black market.
Only NNPC mega filling stations sell at the official price of N86.
Long queues were seen at such NNPC mega filling stations.
When contacted by phone for comments, Edo State chairman of Petroleum Monitoring Committee, Lord Amen Osunde, said he was at a social gathering.