03 May April 2015, Benin – SCARCITY of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, has hit Benin, ts environs and major cities in Edo State as motorists have continued to experienced difficulties in purchasing the product.
Investigations by Vanguard yesterday in Benin indicated that many of the filling stations within the metropolis were out of service.
While some of the attendants claimed to have exhausted their stock, others said that they were awaiting instructions on the price to sell
In few filing stations where the product was sold, motorists were made to part with as much as N140 to N150 per litre, as against the official pump price of N87, a situation which has also led to an increase in the cost of transportation in the city.
One of the attendants at Total filling station on Akpakpava road, who spoke to our correspondent under condition of anonymity, said that the uncertainty about distribution of the products by oil marketers was partly responsible for scarcity.
“We cannot sell to anyone because there is no petrol. Fuel is like gold now. Maybe the situation it will improve soon. But for now, no petrol,” he said.
As the scarcity lingered, black marketers cashed in on the development, with most of them selling 10 litres of petrol for N1,800 to N2,000, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.
Some motorists who spoke to our correspondent bemoaned the situation and called for urgent intervention by the federal government.
“I almost spent the whole day at one of the filling stations ; I still was unable to buy petrol. Some of my colleagues who were lucky bought at N140, which is above the official price.
“If you go to Dawson road to buy from black marketers, then you have to be ready to pay at N1,800 for 10 litres. But that is if they are in a good mood.
“The federal government should please address the situation because if it continues for the next one week, even with the light situation, things will be very difficult for the average Nigerian,” a private motorist said on Sunday.
But the state command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has warned against the sale of illegally refined petrol by black marketers.
The command’s spokesperson, ASC Ogbebor Efosa, said that the corps would not spare anyone caught with adulterated petrol, as it was concerned about the possible spread of illegally refined petroleum products.
Efforts to reach the state chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association were unsuccessful at the time of filing the report.
However, the Chairman of the state Petroleum Monitoring Committee, Mr. Sunny Idahagbon, urged motorists to exercise patience, as the committee was doing its best to ensure that petroleum products were sold at the official price at filing stations where they are available.
He said, “It (fuel scarcity) is nationwide; it’s not peculiar to Edo State. “Here in the state, we are doing our very best to ensure that the Aproduct gets to the consumers at the possible best market price.”