Residents of Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday expressed their displeasure over the alleged refusal of many fuel stations to sell the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.
DAILY POST reporter, who monitored the activities of the fuel stations in Akure, discovered that the few ones who opened for business and sold the product at the normal N87 price, experienced long queues, while others with less queues were already selling the fuel at the rate of N100.
It was learnt that virtually all the fuel stations have the product in their reservoirs but refused to dispense.
“I left Akure for Ondo before I could fuel my motorcycle. It is now difficult to get fuel in Akure. I don’t know why but what we heard was that the fuel station owners are afraid to buy the fuel due to a rumour that the price will soon drop.
“I make bold to say that majority of them have fuel but decided to hoard it, thereby causing fuel scarcity in the town.
“I was at a particular fuel station in Ondo road to get fuel but I was told by the attendants that there is no fuel. But few minutes later, a CRV jeep drove into the station and asked for the manager and when he discussed with the manager for few minutes, the attendants were directed to sell the product to him,” he said.
Also, a manager of one of the petrol stations visited, but who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the product was available at his station but that he had been instructed by his boss not to sell until further notice.
He said, “I have been ordered by my ‘oga’ that we should not sell the product; he is in the best position to give reasons for his directive. I don’t know. But we shall be selling as soon as he gives me order to start selling.”
In his reaction to the development, the Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun state, Mr Bayo Olowookere, who confirmed the scarcity attributed the development to the unavailability of the product in Ore, the Ondo State depot.
He said “it is not only in Ondo that we have the problem; it is a general problem. I think the problem is from Ore depot. Notwithstanding, we have reached other neibouring depots in Masimi, Ishagamu Ibadan and Lagos, they too are not having enough products on ground that could meet the demand of the marketers.
“Some private depots capitalised on this; they are selling to us at N86 per litre, plus transport cost, it will be amounting to N91 per litre coupled with other expenses on the road, approximately the landing cost will be N93 per litre, you can see how much the selling price will be.”
He also blamed federal government for allegedly not paying the arrears of debt owed the fuel importers.