Consumers groan as fuel queues resurface in Edo

Serpentine queues of consumers have resurfaced at major filling stations in Edo State due to the scarcity of the premium motor spirit, popularly know as petrol.
It was gathered that most of the independent marketers, who had the product in stock, dispensed it above the official pump price of N145 per litre.
Those who monitored the situation, on Wednesday, observed that while only a few major marketers sold the product to motorists, their services lasted for a short period of time.
Long queues were seen at the NNPC mega filling station on Sapele road.
It was learnt that the development left motorists to the mercy of the independent and black marketers, who sold the product at N185 and N200 per litre, respectively.
Some of the motorists lamented that the scarcity had continued to linger, in spite of assurances from the Federal Government on the availability of petroleum products.
A private car owner, Ofure Osehobo, said, “I have not been buying petrol at filling stations because there is none. The few that have in stock sell at N180 and above.

 “I am aware that there is a place at Third junction where a litre is sold at N185. But I spent N1,000 to buy four litres in the black market at N250 each.”

Another motorist, Ehichioya Odion, described the situation as painful.
Odion said, “They (independent marketers) are selling at N180, N185 and N190; it is really painful because I spend more money buying a few litres. The stations where we would have bought at N145 do not have petrol.
“Some of them opened occasionally. Total (filling station) on Akpakpava road stopped selling abruptly yesterday due to a protest by some youths in the area. This morning, the attendants sold for some time and said that the product was finished.”
When contacted, the Department of Petroleum Resources in Benin said that a routine surveillance of petrol stations was ongoing to identify sharp practices.
The Operations Controller, Maynard Oriaifo, who disclosed that the state had an average of 400,000 and 500,000 litres per day, as against the expected 800,000, however, advised motorists to report any erring marketer to the agency for immediate action.

 Oriaifo said, “We went out on a routine surveillance at some stations. We checked to ensure that the product was not diverted, prevent hoarding and, above all, sold at the approved pump price of N145 per litre.

“Nobody is supposed to sell above the approved pump price because we believe that the price at the depot is N133.5. So, once we have information about stations selling above N145, then we will go and seal the station.”

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