09 January 2016, Yenagoa — One week after the Federal Government issued a new directive that NNPC retail outlets should sell fuel for N86 per litre and other oil marketers for N86.50k, independent operators in Bayelsa State are yet to comply with the official instruction.
The Federal Government had on December 30, 2015 announced the new fuel price regime effective 1 January 2016.
Investigation on Thursday showed that independent petroleum marketers in Yenagoa and its metropolis were still dispensing petrol at N130 and N140 per litre even though their meters reflect the new official pump price.
It was observed that only the NNPC Mega Filing Station on Sani Abacha Expressway has since complied with the new price regime of N86 per litre, resulting a in a long queue of vehicles.
Curiously, some of the NNPC affiliates within the state capital were observed to be dispensing petrol at N130 and N140 per litre like the independent operators.
Some consumers who spoke to our correspondent said they were miffed at the fact that the independent operators had yet to comply with the Federal Government directive.
“Bayelsa is always like this. These independent oil marketers will never comply anytime the Federal Government reduces fuel price per litre.
“We’re still buying petrol at double the new pump price”, a senior civil servant who pleaded anonymity lamented on Thursday.
It was gathered that some of the filling stations operated by the independent marketers along the Mbiama-Yenagoa and Isaac Boro Expressway open for business only at night to sell above pump price.
Efforts to get the comment of the Chairman, Bayelsa State Petroleum Task Force, Benjamin Abrakasa, proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off.
The Operations Controller of Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in the state, Bassey Nkanga, said the agency had punished some operators who flouted the directive and sold above pump price.
“Those that have been caught selling above pump price have been punished”, he said in a response to enquiries by our correspondent via text message.
But Nkanga was evasive when asked to disclose the number and names of the filling stations so far sanctioned by the DPR.
*Igoniko Oduma – Daily Independent