20 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ENUGU – The Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, is now being sold at N500 per litre by black marketers in Enugu, following artificial scarcity created by dealers.
A four-litre can of fuel at the black market at Onu-Asata on Presidential Road in the capital city was sold at between N2,000 and N2,500 to desperate buyers Thursday.
Motorists resorted to patronising the black marketers following refusal of major and independent marketers to sell fuel since the new price of N97 per litre was announced by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Apart from NNPC Mega station that had consistently sold fuel at the new pump price since Monday, with a long queue of vehicles, with some motorists sleeping overnight at the station, none of the fuel stations in Enugu was open by press time Thursday.
The situation was the same in other major towns within the state, including Nsukka, Udi, Awgu, Oji-River and Agbani.
The monitoring team of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which visited some stations observed that even though some stations had products they refused to sell for fear of being sanctioned.
The dealers claimed that they had procured fuel at N140 earlier approved by government after removing the fuel subsidy and could not revert to N97.
Investigations revealed that while the stations are not selling fuel at day time, some opened at night and supplied fuel to the black marketers ,who in turn sell to end users at ridiculous prices.
The leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state insisted Thursday that unless its members exhausted the former stock they bought after removal of subsidy, they would not dispense at N97.
Enugu State government which had repeatedly been called upon by residents to intervene and enforce the new price regime, has kept mute while the masses continued to groan over the unjust exploitation by the marketers.
An official of the state government said Governor Sullivan Chime and members of his executive committee were still studying the fuel distribution situation and would soon take action to ensure compliance with the new price regime.