03 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria’s oil and gas industry watchdog, said it would seal any fuel station that sells petrol above the N141/litre benchmark price approved by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
A top official of the agency, who spoke with Sweetcrude in confidence on telephone, Monday, said: “Our Director has instructed us to seal any station that sells even at N141.01 per litre and that is what we will do from tomorrow (today).”
The PPPRA in its statement on Sunday said it will, “in conjunction with the DPR ensure that consumers are not taken advantage of in any form or in any way. In the coming weeks, the PPPRA will engage stakeholders in further consultation to ensure the continuation of this exercise in a hitch-free manner.”
But things could not go as planned because of the New Year holiday, which marketers now used to their advantage.
PPPRA’s spokesman, Mr. Wole Adamolekun, and his Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation counterpart, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, said they went round filling stations in Abuja and environs to ensure that marketers do not engage in sharp practices.
Investigations showed that many filling stations sold at as much N150 per litre. This, the DPR explained, was due to lack of proper coordination, following the announcement of the subsidy removal.
Hike in fares
As expected, the removal of subsidy on petrol shot up gtransport fares nationwide, with fares doubling and tripling on the old costs.
Accordingly, a bus ride from Mile 2 to Okokomiako, which before now cost N150, shut up to between N200 and N250 depending on the driver’s disposition, while fare from Mile 2 to Badagry shut up from N400 to between N500 and N600.
On the CMS-Mile 2 route, fares shot up to N500 from N150 while Oshodi to Mile 2 rose to N250 from N150.
Commercial motorcyclists too were not left out in the hike as their fares also doubled or tripled depending on the distance. One of the motorcycle riders, who simply gave his name as Mike, said: “Since the price of fuel has gone up now we have no choice than to increase our own fare, and this it will affect the prices of food stuff in the market.”