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N125 fuel price: Partial compliance as marketers groan

There have been mixed feelings after the fuel pump price was slashed from N145/litre to N125 by the Federal Government, almost two weeks ago. While the fuel marketers said bringing down the price to N125 when they actually brought their stocks to sell at N145 was like changing the rule in the middle of the game, many Nigerians said the reduction should have been lower than N125.

While some marketers grudgingly complied to the new price, others failed to do so and continued to sell at N145. They said they would not stop selling at the old price as long as the old stock remained with them.

In Ogun State, fuel marketers have partially complied with the reduction of the pump price of petrol.

Our correspondent, who went round Abeokuta, observed that fueling stations owned by the major marketers have been selling at the new rate of N125.

However, stations owned by independent marketers are still selling at N145, even as many of them allegedly said they could only comply after exhausting the products they have in stock.

A number of customers applauded the Federal Government for reducing the fuel price, but they quickly added that nothing had changed. According to them, transporters for intra-city and inter-states have failed to review their fares to allow members of the public to benefit from the new fuel price.

A resident of Abeokuta, Femi Akinlotan said, “Nothing has really changed until the government mandates transporters to review their fares to reflect the new fuel price. The amount we pay for taxi, okada and even inter states journey has not changed. I think the government can prevail on transport unions to allow the benefit of the new price trickle down.’’

Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta, the national president of the Road

Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Alhaji Mohammed Musa, applauded the Federal Government for reducing fuel pump price, describing it as a welcome development. He promised that the leadership of the union would meet and decide on the review of transport fares to ensure that the masses benefit from the new pump price.

In Nasarawa State, more than 90per cent of filling stations have fully complied with the directive by the Federal Government to sell a litre of petrol at N125.

Alhaji Abdulrahaman Muhammad-Bima, comptroller of operations, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Lafia, disclosed this to Daily Trust Saturday in Lafia, saying they had dispatched a technical team that monitored the level of compliance by filling stations in the state.

He warned that filling stations that failed to comply with the directive would be sealed.

Muhammad-Bima appealed to the public to report any filling station that sold petroleum products above the Federal Government-approved pump price of N125 to the DPR.

He commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), A.A Rano and A.Y Shafa filling stations for being among the first to comply as soon as the reduction in pump price of petrol was announced by the Federal Government.

In his remark, chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Salisu Adamu said, “We are happy with the reduction of the pump price, we want the product to always be available and for the country to experience growth and development.’’

Meanwhile, the DPR has sealed 20 filling stations in the state from January till date for various offences.

Muhammad-Bima said the affected filling stations were sealed for offences such as under-delivery, diversion of product, lack of safety precautions etc. He said the affected filling stations, which included major and independent petroleum marketers, cut across the 13 local government areas of the state.

Also, majority of filling stations in Minna, the Niger State capital and environs, have adjusted petrol price to N125. It was observed that the NNPC mega station and a major marketer in the state, BOVAS, adjusted the price almost immediately after the announcement was made.

Some other filling stations, especially the independent marketers, took few days after the announcement by the Federal Government before they adjusted.

Almost all filling stations visited in Niger State have started selling petrol at N125 per litre.

Even though motorists and residents commended the Federal Government for the reduction, they, however, said they expected the price to be lower than N125.

In Kano State, a visit to most of the filling stations owned by major marketers, such as Oando, Mobil, among others, and those owned by independent marketers within the state metropolis, showed that they complied with the new fuel pump price.

However, unconfirmed reports alleged that some of the independent filling stations around the metropolis closed for business because they have old stock and could not dispense at the new rate.

Meanwhile, the Kano State chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) called on the Federal Government to come up with intervention measures that would support its members who may incur losses due to the recent reduction in fuel pump price.

Also, filling stations in Kaduna metropolis are complying with the new pump price.

Our correspondent who visited Royal Arms and Mobil filling stations observed that they dispensed at N125.