The scarcity of petrol, which was slightly noticed in Akure, the Ondo State capital and some towns in the state on Monday got worse yesterday as long queue of vehicles were seen at various filling stations.
While some of the independent marketers claimed that petrol was not available for sale, some that are selling sold the product at the rate of N100 per litre rather than the official pump price of N87.
However, checks revealed that many marketers who had the product deliberately refused to sell the product in anticipation of worst situation when they could sell at a higher price.
A manager of one of the petrol stations, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the product was available at his station but he had been instructed by his boss not to sell until further notice.
“I had been ordered by my ‘oga’ that we should not sell the product, but he is in the best position to answer the reason for his directive. I don’t know. But we shall be selling as soon as he gives me order to start selling,” he said.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) for Ore Depot which serves in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States, Mr. Bayo Olowookere who confirmed the scarcity blamed the situation to the unavailability of the product in Ore, Ondo State depot.
He said: “It is not only in Ondo that we have the problem, it is a general problem. I think the problem is from Ore Depot, had it been we get the product from Ore, we would not have had this type of problem.
“Notwithstanding, we have reached other neighbouring depots in Mosimi, Shagamu, Ibadan and Lagos, they too are not having enough products on ground that could meet the demand of the marketers.
“Some private depots capitalised on this, they are selling for us at N86 per litre and when we buy at N86 per litre plus transport cost, it will be amounting to N91 per litre coupled with other expenses on the road, approximately the landing cost will be N93 per litre, you can see how much the selling price will be.”
Olowokere blamed federal government for the problem for allegedly not paying the arrears of debt owing the fuel importers, saying the little products imported could not meet the demand in the country. “