By Samuel Oyadongha
DESPITE the threat by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to shut down fuel station selling premium motor spirit (PMS) above the official rate of N145 per litre, the product is being sold between N155 and N160 per litre in Bayelsa State.
Many of the stations had temporarily halted operations last Friday and this resulted in long queues at the few filling stations dispensing the product.
The situation has however improved with the disappearance of the queue at the stations but the stations have refused to revert to N145 per litre as directed.
Residents of the state were jolted last week by the arbitrary increase in price of the product by station owners.
A development that prompted the Head of Operations, Department of Petroleum Resources in the state, Ibinabo Jack, to meet with both the independent and major marketers last week.
He called them to immediately revert to the original price of N145 per littre, or be sanctioned, as they have no reason to increase the price.
The DPR, he warned would not hesitate to impose stringent penalties upon station found selling above the pump price.
But the state Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), had blamed the increase to price increase at the depots.
The group said its members have to source products from Warri and Port Harcourt refineries at prices above N142 and considering the transport cost, there was no way they could sell at the government price.