By Vincent Osuji
Despite directives and threats by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) over arbitrary increase in pump price, product marketers have continued to sell the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also called petrol, at N220 per litre in Imo State.
A Christian Voice correspondent who visited some filling stations in Owerri, the Imo State capital, reported that the marketers refused to explain the situation, insisting only that they obtained the products at exorbitant prices and so would sell to make profit.
Transport fares that skyrocketed at the Yuletide following a combination of the seasonal rush and high petrol prices are yet to come down.
Commuters and holidaymakers paid up to N15,000 to visit home from Abuja and Lagos while they also paid the same amounts to return in January.
Internal taxi fares in Owerri shot up to N100 per ride, as against N50, and has not changed as at press time.
When contacted, a Federal legislator representing Mbaitoli/ Ikeduru, Hon. Henry Nwawuba, described the situation as laughable.
He queried why the DPR should allow itself to be fooled by the marketers and suspected that some of its officials may have compromised along the line.
The lawmakers suggested the establishment of more NNPC Mega stations in the 774 local government areas of the country to ensure that petroleum products get to the hinterlands.
“As long as the demand for the product outweighs the supply, we may be at the mercy of the cabal who create artificial scarcity every Christmas period to bring untold hardship to million of Nigerians,” he stated.
Nwawuba further stated that the powers to regulate the marketers reside with the DPR.
He described as disheartening a situation where marketers disregard the law, saying that it suggests a failed business environment.
By Vincent Osuji