Saboteurs Masterminded Fuel Price Panic In Rivers State – Inimgba

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P/Harcourt – The Executive Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Port Harcourt Refinery Depot Unit Rivers State, Chief Emmanuel Inimgba, said the  wild  story of panic buying and hoarding of Petrol in Rivers  was masterminded  by  some saboteurs in the state.   

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent in his IPMAN Port Harcourt secretariat, Inimgba debunked  insinuations  that  fuel consumers  would face a price hike of the product due to short Supply and distribution by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to him, there was a delay in clearance of imported vessels of PMS by the Nigerian Customers Service at the sea ports which should not translate to acute supply or availability of the product to customers in the State.

He  disclosed that a vessel loaded with over 30,000 Metric tons of PMS had anchored at the Port Harcourt, Okrika Refinery jetty await discharge while another one was being expected to anchor in no short time.

“A teaming number of our marketers in Port Harcourt metropolis are still selling at N145.00 per pump price. So, whoever is selling above that or hoarding belongs to the league of saboteurs to drag the name of NNPC or federal Government in the mud’’.

He also debunked  spread allegation that the PHRC depot price was selling above the government official rate of N133.28.

He explained further that to allay the fears of consumers in the Port Harcourt,, IPMAN had ensured that fuel stations strategically located along Port Harcourt Aba Express, Odili, Borokiri, Ada George roads and the Eleme, Bori, and Choba axis were given preference to ensure even supplies and availability of the product to consumers.

“Our IPMAN group is co-operating with the petroleum products marketing company (PPMC), PHRC depot to ensure that there is an even distribution of the product to all accessible feeling stations in the state without relying on product from other states,” he stressed.

Inimba, who described the scarcity alarm as a built up game of some saboteurs appealed to the petroleum product consumers in the state to desist from panic buying and hoarding of PMS in their houses, to avert its deadly consequences given the highly inflammable nature of the product.

He, however, appealed to the federal government to review all variables attributed to petroleum products prices, noting that a downward consideration of depot prices of PMS from N133.28, Ago (diesel) and Kerosene (DPK) at the cost of N190.00 each would leverage cost on bank loan access for marketers and the cost of pushing products through a system called 2E/2Ex pipe lines to other depots in Makurdi, Benue and Kaduna States.

“It is safer and more cost effective to bury the distribution surface pipes deeply underground to avert vandalism and product theft from the surface pipelines’’, he said.

Besides, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured the public of adequate supply of petroleum products during the Easter celebration even as residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and its environs are currently experiencing fuel scarcity as long queues have returned to filling stations.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru gave the assurance last week in Enugu at the ongoing 30th Enugu International Trade Fair.

Baru said that the NNPC would provide petroleum products to all parts of the country.

He said that no fewer than 55 depots across the country were fully stocked with petroleum products, including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“To make the Easter holidays pleasurable, the NNPC has put all the necessary arrangements in place to berth two vessels of 50 million litres of petrol daily.

“I am delighted to inform you that NNPC has ensured that all the nook and crannies of the country are kept wet with Petroleum products. As I speak, on fewer than 55 depots across the country are fully stocked with petroleum products including premium motor spirit otherwise called petrol. These depots include 23 in Lagos, seven in Port Harcourt, 11 in Warrior, 6 in Calabar and 8 in Kaduna.

“Also to make the Easter holiday that is fast approaching pleasurable, NNPC has put all the necessary arrangements in place to berth two vessels of 50million litres of petrol daily.

Baru who was represented by Anibo Kragha, NPC Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrol Chemicals cautioned depot owners or terminal operators against selling petrol above the official ex-depot price of N133.28 noting that price of petrol remains N145 per litre in the country.

Motorists in Port Harcourt are made to spend several hours on the queues before buying petrol since Monday this week.

The scarcity has led to less traffic on the road, making school children and other passengers to face serious difficulties going about their businesses.

Motorists who could not wait patiently for their turns now patronised black-marketers, buying petrol at N250 per litre while some filling station have begun to sell the product at N150 and above using hand calculators.

The cost of transportation within the city had also risen due to the situation. A N150 taxi fare for some destinations went up to N300 while bus charges for a distance which used to be N50 is now N100.

A commercial bus driver, Levi Okorie, said that the government should not allow the situation to linger for a long time.Jacob Nze, a taxi driver, said that the difficulties faced by the citizenry during petrol scarcity period are indescribable.

“Government should do something quickly; this is having negative effects on all of us,” he said.

Also speaking, another commercial driver, Isaiah Jaja, said that the situation would affect productivity in places of work.

There are reports that the current scarcity is caused by non-importation of products due to the government’s failure to remit funds.

As of 10am yesterday morning, most of the filling stations were still locked up as the owners refused to sell, hoping that the scarcity would force an increase in the pump price of petrol.

Culled from here

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