…DPR insists there are enough products, warns against panic buying
Mkpoikana Udoma – Port Harcourt
22 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Motorists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and its environs, are still finding it difficult to get the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol.
Long queues persisted Thursday in many filling stations while some stations remained shut and not selling the products.
Motorists are being forced to spend the whole day in order to buy the product from NNPC filling stations at N143 per litre or from other private filling stations at N180 and N190 per litre.
Meanwhile, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has attributed the fuel scarcity experienced in the country to panic buying by consumers.
Port Harcourt Zonal Comptroller of DPR, Dr. Ibani Frank-Briggs, said adequate quantity of fuel had been supplied to last till the end of the year, but sharp practices by fuel dealers were affecting the availability of fuel to consumers.
Frank-Briggs explained that while the problem of fuel scarcity was not only experienced in Port Harcourt, the DPR in the zone was tackling the issue in order to protect consumers.
The Zonal Comptroller warned that the official price of petrol per litre remained N145, adding that any filling station caught selling above the price would be punished.
He stated that the Federal Government had not increased the price of PMS and wondered why anybody would decide to cheat the consumers.
According to him, “We want to assure you that we are in control; there is no need to panic and whatever thing you are seeing is as a result of panic buying. We want to use this opportunity to inform members of the public that they should not panic.
“The products are available and the records at our disposal show that we have enough products to last us till the end of the year. Of course, we are aware that there are people who are selling above the official pump price.
“Some are also hoarding the product because of the festive season so that they can make quick money. On our part, we try to ensure that these practices are nipped in the bud by going on surveillance on a daily basis,” Frank-Briggs said.