Scarcity: PENGASSAN to clampdown on fuel stations selling above N650/litre

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah

Research by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, has shown that the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline, has soared to as much as N650 per liter in some locations.

It said that the ongoing shortage of the product, which got worse on Monday in Abuja and many other parts of the nation, was to blame for this and urged the federal government to begin revoking the licenses of oil marketers implicated in the stockpiling of PMS.

Further, it was learned that the 14-member petroleum products supply and distribution management steering committee, which was recently approved and established by the Federal Government to end the protracted scarcity of gasoline, had not yet been officially inaugurated.

Last week’s Tuesday saw the announcement of the committee by Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, whose Chairman is the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.d).

An impeccable source at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources who pleaded anonymity, said; “The committee has not been inaugurated and it cannot start its work without proper inauguration. This is because its chairman has been travelling around lately.”

PENGASSAN reported that it had been in contact with its members at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, who were in charge of distributing the products to marketers, over the statewide shortage of gasoline.

It added that it was following up with its members from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, who were in charge of issuing cargo clearance, monitoring compliance, routing inspection, metering calibration/maintenance, accurate delivery to trucks, record keeping, etc., regarding the need to complete their tasks quickly.

In a statement that was co-signed by both its president, Festus Osifo, and secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, the association stated: “While we understand that the parameters imputed into the old PPPRA and now NMDPRA template has since changed because of some economic vagaries such as exchange rate fluctuation, vessel hiring cost and cost of diesel, among others, there is no sufficient justification for petrol to be selling for such highly inflated price, thereby subjecting the masses to further difficulties.”

It added, “Even though we have some good marketers who tend to play by the rules, others who are overbearing have deployed methods of creating artificial scarcities in other to hike the price of the product uncontrollably, as the prices of the product now sells between N185 to N650 depending on your location and outlet.”

According to the organization, PENGASSAN had data from its members that showed there was more than 30 days’ worth of PMS supply nationwide, hence there was no justification for the current shortage and misery facing Nigerians.

“We hereby call on the management of NMDPRA to compel all marketers and retailers to make the products available at approved price.

“They should immediately mobilise all their staff in various locations across the country to monitor compliance and anyone found wanting, should have their licence revoked to serve as deterrent,” the association stated.

It continued, “Should this collusion go on unchecked, we will not hesitate to partner with other stakeholders in ensuring that Nigerians are not further exploited. A stitch in time saves nine.”

PENGASAN, meanwhile, expressed sympathy for Nigerians’ plight on the hardship caused by the shortage and sharp increase in the price of PMS.

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