Marketers, FG trade blames as fuel queues linger

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The fuel queues that hit many states in past weeks is yet to subside even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to Nigerians to stop panic buying.

Major oil marketers are at loggerheads with the government over the delay in the payment of N413bn subsidy arrears owed them.

It was gathered that the money has been approved by the Presidency but the National Assembly is yet to approve of it.

On the other hand, independent marketers have hiked petrol prices above the regulated rate as they also buy above the ex-depot price fixed by the government.

A marketer who spoke on the condition of anonymity denied that its members were hoarding or selling above pump price blaming the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for failing to enforce the relevant laws.

It was leant that despite the fact that stations owned by independent marketers sold fuel at N100 a litre, it did not stop motorists from patronizing them.

Fuel stations in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikeja and Ikorodu road that dispensed the product at the weekend had long queues of motorists.

Trade Club

A commercial bus driver, Tijjani Saka told our correspondent he bought fuel above the pump price around Oshodi on Saturday.

In Abuja, some filling stations at the weekend shut their outlets to motorists claiming they had run out of stock, while others said they were yet to receive products for the day.
In some of the stations that had petrol to sell, the queues of vehicles have refused to go down. 

In the last three weeks, other states in the country have struggled to survive a tsunami of fuel queues that have enveloped their state capitals.

But the NNPC at the weekend revealed it has concluded plans to begin 24-hour operations in most of its 513 retail outlets spread all over the country as part of efforts to arrest the situation. 

It  also assured that it had enough petrol, a projected volume of 1.4 billion litres available for distribution to fuel stations across the country all through the month of November.

DPR Director, Mordecai Ladan, who gave the warning in the wake of the fuel queues, said that any petroleum products marketer who engaged in the act of diversion, hoarding or under-dispensing will be prosecuted and treated like an economic saboteur.

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