NNPC raises alarm over kerosene scarcity

28 November 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The current kerosene scarcity across Nigeria has become worse, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised an alarm that shylock marketers are hiking the price after buying at subsidised prices from the corporation.

The price of the product had skyrocketed to N160 per litre at the weekend at few fuel stations that had the product on sale.

NNPC, however, says it still sells at ex-depot price of N40.90 to marketers, but immediately the marketers get outside the gates of the depots, they sell at N135 per litre to other marketers that do not have direct allocation from the NNPC.

NNPC spokesman, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, who spoke on the development, described the attitude of the marketers as unscrupulous.

He said: “We (NNPC) have been crying that we are not making money; it is the marketers that are making the money. They are getting kerosene almost free from NNPC. Why should they hike the price? Look at the amount they are making. That is why the government should remove subsidy and deregulate the sector.”

According to Ajuonuma, subsidy had been enriching few marketers at the expense of other Nigerians and the Nigerian government.

He called for the understanding of Nigerians in having the subsidy removed, as he said Nigeria and Nigerians would continue to lose until it is removed.

Ajuonuma urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Nigerian oil industry watchdog, to check the excesses of the marketers, who are involved in profiteering and other sharp practices.

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