Fuel scarcity looms as filling stations set to close shop over price

By Isa Kajuru, Kaduna
The last might not have been heard regarding the recurrent scarcity of petroleum products, particularly, Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol.This is because the owners of mega petrol filling stations have threatened to shut down operations following an alleged imposition of a lower pump price on them by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
Members under the Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON) in Kaduna hinted this in Kaduna on Thursday.

Specifically, the association is accusing the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as having directed that all mega
filling stations sell fuel at varying rates of N130.00, N135.00, N140.00 per litre, while their competitors sell at N145 per litre.

National Secretary of the association, Mr. Kenneth Nwachukwu said: “We are kicking against a directive by the Minister of State for Petroleum that we sell fuel for less than N145 per litre. We are all marketers
and we get supplies at the same source and at the same price.

“Why should we be made to sell at N130, N135 and N140 per litre while others sell for N145 per litre? With this pronouncement by the Minister, we foresee a looming fuel scarcity because we may have to
shut operations nationwide. ”

“We also see fuel scarcity because some unscrupulous marketers would rather get their supplies and sell in the black market at N145 than take the fuel to their stations and this will cause another crisis in
the retail chain.”
“We have never seen this kind of policy. In fact it will increase  corruption which government is fighting tooth and nail to stop. ”
“Some people are already bribing their way at the depots and officials there are selling to them at a price lower than the official one.

These people can afford to sell at a price lower than N145. But we buy at official price and as such cannot be forced sell lower than N145,” he added.

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