Fuel: Queues disappear, prices differ

*Fuel subsidy palava

*Fuel subsidy palaver. 

•Enugu N190/l, Abuja N145/l, Minna N145/l, Kaduna N170/l, Akure N150/l, Maiduguri N190/l, Ibadan N145/l, Lagos N145/l, Kano N145/l, Port Harcourt N145/l, Jos N145/l

14 May 2016 — On Wednesday evening, Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu announced partial deregulation of the downstream sector of the Petroleum industry increasing the pump price of petrol to N145 per litre. Fuel stations across the country immediately reacted to the announcement by adjusting their pumps to the new price. Queues suddenly disappeared while some fuel stations which hitherto claimed not to have the product also opened up for customers.

ABUJA – All filling stations in Abuja, as at yesterday, had adjusted their pump price to N145 per litre while the huge fuel queues which resurfaced since the beginning of the week had started to thin out.

However, a few filling stations were still engaged in sharp practices, short-changing motorists with the manipulation of their pump, a situation called under-dispensing.

On a visit to petrol stations in Abuja, Nasarawa State and Niger State, the queues were gradually thinning out, while a number of the petrol stations only had less than 10 cars on queue to purchase products.

One petrol station attendant disclosed that most motorists no longer fill up their tanks, stating that majority of the people who patronised their station only purchased between N3,000 and N5,000 worth of the product.

IBADAN – In Ibadan, it was a big surprise that after the announcement of the new pump fuel price, all filling stations that had claimed it had no fuel suddenly opened to customers. In a twinkle of an eye, the queue vanished from filling stations. Some motorists who had been in the queue at some filling stations selling at the old rate of N86.50 left after the fuel pump was adjusted to the new price. Saturday Vanguard observed that several motorists who could not afford the new price parked their vehicles at home and this led to

It was observed that several motorists who could not afford the new price parked their vehicles at home and this led to a reduction in vehicular movements within the metropolis.

KANO – In Kano despite an upward review of the price of petrol, the commercial city of Kano there is still the scarcity of the product. Few stations that had fuel were selling to motorists at N145 per litre.

KADUNA – Most petrol retail outlets in Kaduna which had fuel yesterday, sold between N150 and N170 per litre.

Our findings showed that most of the filling stations that had claimed they had no fuel, had suddenly flung open their gates on Wednesday evening and started dispensing fuel.

By Friday, not many fillings stations had fuel, but the few that had said they bought from second parties, not directly from the NNPC depot. They, therefore, sold fuel between N150 and N170 per litre.

I would have sold even above this price of N170 per litre but we are afraid that the price may come down after the strike by Labour next week. So we want to finish what we have now, and wait for the outcome of the strike”, a manager of one of the filling stations disclosed under the condition of anonymity.

PORT HARCOURT – Filling stations with petrol in Port Harcourt were dispensing at N145 per litre to motorists. Most of them suddenly opened for business after the federal government announced the new price.

It was observed that there were no queues at the filling stations on Station road, Aba road and several other areas in Port Harcourt.

Motorists who spoke described the filling station operators as shylock, saying they were selling old stock at the new rates.

“The are selling products they got at less than 84 Naira per litre at the new rate of N145, this is exploitative.”, one of them said. The new pump price of fuel has also affected transport fares on all routes in the state capital, Port Harcourt. Most of the taxi and commercial bus operators have increased their fares by fifty percent. By Marie-

JOS– In Jos, the Plateau State capital, major fuel stations were not dispensing the product at the time of this report but the few Independent Marketers that had fuel sold it at N145 per litre.

Motorists, however, believed the fuel pumps have tampered with to make them pay more than the said price. There were no noticeable queues in areas where the products were being sold and those buying in jerry cans from roadside traders paid between N900 and N1000 for a four-liter jerry can.

AKURE-The fuel queues have not disappeared across Ondo state following the hike in the price of petrol by the federal government.

Findings showed that independent marketers across the state sell the product for N150 per litre instead of the N145 new pump price. The Mega station located at Adegbola junction in Akure metropolis sold the product at N145 per litre.

Many filling stations which had shut their gates to consumers started selling again for between N145 and N150 per litre.

MAIDUGURI – Following the announcement on the new price of petrol, fuel stations have adjusted their pumps selling at between N160 and N180 per litre.

Some stations are even selling at N200 per litre. The stations are not only selling above the official price of N145 per litre but most of them have closed for business leaving motorists to queue for a long distance without being attended to.

Surprisingly, even the Main NNPC Depot situated along Maiduguri-Biu Road which was operating a day to the announcement has stopped attending to customers as the queue increased.

ENUGU – Also,following the announcement by the federal government,filing stations in Enugu metropolis and beyond sells at N190 per litre while most commuters have resorted to trekking following eighty percent hike in the cost of fares for intra-city movements.

While speaking on a live television show yesterday,Secretary General,NLC,Peter Ozo-Ezon said,” the present economic situation has completely eroded the little salary that workers do have.

If check the present economic situation, the devaluation of the Naira and spiralling inflation, the average Nigerian is already unable to meet basic needs.

When under such situation,you then bring electricity tariff increase to further compound that situation,then you follow with a hike in fuel price to impoverish the masses,that cannot be the way Government should function.

“It is unacceptable. The PPPRA Act sets up stakeholders forum in law that deals with this matter. The PPPRA Board has not been constituted for over two years. I have written President Muhammad Buhari on the illegality of not constituting the Board.

Without a Board,how can you determine the template of N145 that we are using to sell petrol? The law is clear on how PPPRA should exercise their power. It is the Board that should set the template for pricing.

So,for somebody appointed by the Minister of State for Petroleum to be playing that role is an illegality.
“The Minister has become as it were, a sole administrator.”

*Luka Binniyat, Jimitota Onoyume, Dayo Johnson, Michael Eboh, Ola Ajayi,Abdulsalam Muhammad, Therese Nanlong, Ndahi Marama, Francis Igata – Vanguard

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