PENGASSAN fumes, as marketers sell fuel at exorbitant prices

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday lamented the current outrageous prices of petrol in the country.

The union, which blamed marketers for creating what it described as artificial scarcity, threatened to take drastic actions should the collusion continue.

The unnecessary scarcity of fuel had resulted in hardship across the country with Nigerians having to pay more than necessary for the product.

The development had also led to the constitution of a 14-man steering committee chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on petroleum products supply and distribution management to address the trend.

In a statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Comrades Festus Osifo and Lumumba Okugbawa, respectively, the union urged the industry regulator, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to take urgently drastic steps to halt the current trend.

The union insisted that some marketers have become overbearing and resorted to hiking the fuel price from N185 to N650 for Nigerians.

Read also:Fuel marketers accuse govt of complicity in ongoing scarcity

The statement read: “The national leadership of PENGASSAN has been following up with our members in NNPC Trading Limited who are responsible for assigning the products to marketers and our teeming members from NMDPRA in various depots and terminals across the country.

“They are also responsible for issuing cargo clearance, monitoring compliance, routine inspection, metering calibration/maintenance, accurate delivery to trucks, record keeping, etc. There is the need for them to carry out their functions expeditiously.

“While we understand that the parameters imputed into the old PPPRA and now NMDPRA template has since changed because of some economic vagaries such as exchange rate fluctuation, vessel hiring cost and cost of diesel, amongst others, there is no sufficient justification for petrol to be selling for such highly inflated price, thereby subjecting the masses to further difficulties.

“From data available to us from our members, there are over 30 days petrol sufficiency in the country; hence there is no basis for the current scarcity and hardship that Nigerians are being subjected to.

“We hereby call on the management of NMDPRA to compel all marketers and retailers to make the products available at approved price. They should immediately mobilise all their staff in various locations across the country to monitor compliance and anyone found wanting, should have their licenses revoked to serve as deterrence.

“Should this collusion go on unchecked, we will not hesitate to partner with other stakeholders in ensuring that Nigerians are not further exploited. A stitch in time saves nine.”

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