05 March 2013, Umuahia – Chief Don Ubani, Abia Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals, has urged the media to effectively monitor the unpatriotic activities of dealers of petroleum products in the state.
Ubani told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Tuesday in Umuahia that effective monitoring of the dealers would check the sales of petroleum products above government-approved pump prices.
NAN reports that most petroleum dealers in Umuahia and environs sell petrol, diesel and kerosene above recommended pump prices.
Ubani noted that, in spite of government’s effort to reactivate the NNPC petroleum depot at Osisioma, near Aba, marketers still sold petroleum products above the recommended pump prices.
“As I speak with you today, diesel, kerosene and petrol are at Osisioma depot, yet there is hardly any place these products are sold at government-approved rates in the state.
“The intelligence information I have currently is that the price of kerosene has fallen and yet, people who get allocations from Osisioma depot resell the product at N80 per litre to filling station owners,” he said.
Ubani said that such illegal business was wrong and negated government’s good intention for Abia people.
He called on the media and other members of the public to assist his ministry in unmasking people behind such unpatriotic deals and marketers who sabotaged good policies of the government.
He said that a task force had been empowered to monitor unwholesome dealings by petroleum product marketers with a view to enforcing sales at government-approved rates.
“It is only when the products are sold at government-approved prices that Abia citizens would be said to be enjoying the dividends of the reactivation of NNPC Osisioma depot,” he said.
Ubani said as the watchdog of the society, the media had a sacred duty to ensure that the rules and regulations instituted for the people were respected.
“The responsibility of the press as the watchdog of the society is to peep into sensitive areas and find out how things are done.
“Because you have the right to know, and this right is encapsulated in the Freedom of Information Act,” he said.
He said that if the authorities of such sensitive outfits were made to be conscious of the unrelenting role of the media to strengthen the rules, it would accelerate the quest for the overall growth of the Nigerian society.