According to The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), due to an acute yet substantial scarcity of petrol in Zamfara, a Northern state in Nigeria, gas stations that are till operating have been forced to sell their product at N170 against the govt approved the rate of N145 per liter.
This had forced the regulatory task force; Kaduna Zonal Operations Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to seal off at least 13 filling stations that were observed selling above the approved rate in the past couple of weeks.
The Leader of the said task force, Mr. Aliyu Usman, told newsmen that selling the commodity above price was one of the malpractices observed by the department in the state.
He added“we also observed various malpractices such as hoarding and diversion of the petroleum products, under dispensation and neglecting guidelines on safety of operational facilities in most of the stations. Based on our findings, a majority of the filling stations are involved in one of two malpractices, we are going to continue with these inspections in Zamfara to ensure effective compliance by the marketers of the commodity. “We will make sure that we put marketers in check because the consuming public are suffering and DPR will not continue to allow some unlawful marketers to make things difficult for the people”.
With this, he, therefore, urged marketers in the state to run their business legally and avoid such practices.
Reacting to the allegations, the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Gusau Depot Branch, Alhaji Sirajo Kamba had this to say
“that the major cause of the increase in pump price of petrol as against the official price of N145 per liter was the increase in price from the supplying private depot.” “Most of the filling stations selling the commodity beyond government official price are getting it from private depots and they don’t sell the commodity as directed by the Federal Government.”
He went on to say that
“Even the DPR is aware of the price changes from them, as mandated by law, DPR should monitor our business activities, it is also mandated to check the excesses of the private depot.
“We got the product between N139 and N140 per liter from the private depots against N133 as directed by the government and this is the major reason for the hike. And you know we cannot run at a loss. We have been calling on the Federal Government to investigate and address these issues,’’
Kamba concluded that this has resulted in the delay of supplying the commodity from government depot which in turn has lead the independent marketers to patronize private depots whose prices are higher than the governments. He, therefore, urged the government to review the current system of supplying the commodity, to reduce its cost to the end users.
Source: The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)