29 August 2012, Sweetcrude, OWERRI—VEHICLE owners in Imo State are now finding it extremely difficult to procure petrol in what consumers of premium motor spirit, also known as petrol, called “inexplicable hike in pump price of the petroleum product in the state”.
Sweetcrude investigation revealed that in 15 out of the 27 local government areas of the state, fuel stations, with the exception of the mega stations run by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, were either selling above the approved pump price or under-dispensed.
All the fuel stations visited, including those owned by the major marketers, sold petrol at between N100 and N110 per litre.
Already, prices of essential commodities in the markets have gradually shot up beyond the reach of the ordinary man in the street.
When Sweetcrude called at a station adjacent to Maria Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, the meter read N97 per litre, but the female attendant insisted on selling the product at N100 per litre.
“That is what my boss said I should sell the petrol. If you don’t want to buy, please remove your vehicle for those who want to buy”, the saucy attendant told Sweetcrude.
Some motorists, who said they had no option, wondered what the regulators in the oil industry and operatives of Consumer Protection Council, CPC, were doing to justify their monthly pay.
“We often hear that filling stations were sealed up in other states for varying reasons, including selling above the approved pump price. Nobody has told us why such bodies have refused to work in Imo State”, Mazi Ikechukwu Ukaegbu lamented.