By Chinaza Baruch
Consumers of petroleum products, especially the premium motor spirit (PMS) commonly called petrol, have lashed out at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Imo State, saying that they appear not to be carrying out their duty in the state.
The accusation came as reports filtered in that despite the disputed pump price of N145 per litre recommended by the Federal Government, many marketers are still bent on exploiting the costumers by selling the product at N150 per litre and above.
The defaulting marketers, consumers alleged, have carried on unchallenged, raking up feelings that officials of the DPR meant to monitor them allegedly may have compromised.
Speaking to Christian Voice, some of the consumers interviewed said that most of the filling stations adjusted their meters such that for every 10 litres one buys, one would be short of two to three litres.
“The presence of DPR is not being felt here in Imo State,” a civil servant, Mr. Felix Oji, who was seen driving out of a filling station in Orlu said.
He lamented that after exploiting the masses by selling as high as N180-N200 when the pump price was N86, these marketers still want to profiteer despite the present FG price of N145 per litre.
He noted that in other states, the DPR had worked in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps to apprehend owners of filling stations found to be under-dispensing as well as those selling above the recommended pump price and wondered why Imo is different.
He observed that even before the last adjustment in price, the DPR in Imo allegedly allowed marketers, apart from the major ones, to sell at any price of their choice.
“No IPMAN station sold below N150 per litre and, with the present price, Imo people are still left at the mercy of these greedy marketers. Reharps, DPR officials are on holidays; he said.
Efforts to get the comments of DPR authorities on the matter proved abortive as our reporter visited the office several times to ascertain the position of things.
On one occasion, Christian Voice was asked to submit a questionnaire which our reporter did, and no reply was received is until the time of going to press.