Fuel: Confusion as marketers flout FG’s directive, adopt different price bands
Despite assurances from the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the weekend that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, remains, some recalcitrant marketers across the country are stilling selling above the approved retail price of N162/N165.
Daily investigations yesterday showed that some filling stations in Irrua and Ekpoma both in Edo State and Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State sold a litre of petrol at N212.37 and N175 per litre respectively.
At a Danco filling station in Ekiadolor, in the outskirt of Benin, it was long queues of vehicles as petrol sold for N168 per litre.
In Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the situation was not different as commuters lamented the over N200 per liter petrol price.
This was even as the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) on Sunday decried the hardship and escalation of transport cost caused by the unauthorised increase in fuel price to N212 in South-East and other parts of the country.
Chairman of CLO in Anambra, Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, said that transport cost to all routes in the zonehad increased by 100 per cent over these few days in the South-East.
Ezekwueme noted that the jump in transport cost had led to increase in commodities prices in the market, adding that “the situation if not checked will impact the cost of other social services very soon’’.
The hike has led to an astronomical rise in the prices of goods and services as transporters have hiked the cost of transport fares by more than 30 per cent.
However, most of petroleum fuel stations are yet to revert to the old prices, and were selling the product for between N200 and N205 per litre within Enugu metropolis.
However, the situation was different in most parts of Lagos, as majority of the filling had by Saturday reverted to the old price of N162/N165 per litre respectively.
As at yesterday, Daily Sun findings across major and independent filling stations, including retail outlets operated by NNPC within the Lagos metropolis revealed petrol sold at government’s approved retail prices.
The queues that witnessed in parts of Lagos on Friday following the announcement of a new pricing template had all disappeared as at yesterday.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory (PPPRA) had early Friday morning announced changes in the guiding retail price of petrol, to an average of N211.11 per litre fromN162/N165 per litre. The announcement created confusion as most commuters besieged the filling stations, leading to heavy traffic on the ever busy Lekki-Epe Expressway.
But shortly after the announcement by PPPRA, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, had apologised to Nigerians, describing the announcement was a mix-up.
He said neither the President who also serves as the Minister of Petroleum nor himself was aware of the review of the pricing template and as such was null and void.
The Minister had tendered the Federal Government’s unreserved apology to Nigerians for the inconvenience the wrong announcement may have caused them.
He said the Federal Government at no time increased the price of petrol.
Sylva disclosed that the Federal Government, labour and other critical stakeholders were still in talks over petrol pricing and could not have gone ahead to unilaterally increase without their final input.
The Minister maintained that no government agency has been authorised by either the President or himself to announce fuel price increase.
Source: SUN NIGERIA