Fuel Scarcity Worsen, Petrol Sells For N300/ltr In Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt and environs now buy petrol for N300 per liter Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, often known as petrol, is in short supply in Port Harcourt and its vicinity. This has caused enormous difficulty for companies that rely on PMS as marketers, and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has shut down gasoline distribution in the state. Since Monday, the scenario has resulted in an unregulated increase in petrol pump price, even as fuel users complain about spending the entire day in long lineups at the few dispensing filling stations and not being able to buy even at as high as N250 per liter pump price. NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha, confirmed to Vanguard yesterday that the hardship caused by fuel in the state, which has spilled over to neighboring states, was induced by the union’s decision to shut operations after the Rivers State government failed to respond to the union’s petition to intervene within seven days over alleged extortion and impoundment of fuel tankers by security operatives in the state. The situation has deteriorated further as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has also joined the disruption of fuel distribution in the state, with two factions of the association engaged in a face-off over differences in the resolution of the ordeal tanker drivers face at the hands of multiple anti-illegal fuel security teams chasing tankers loaded with fuel across the state. Even after a massive price increase, most NNPC filling stations and franchise businesses on the East West Road and other locations, Total and other stations had no goods to distribute as of yesterday. Some stations that sell PMS have set their rates between N240 and N300 per litre more than the N162 pump price. Mr. Gilbert Gift, a Port Harcourt resident whom Vanguard met at a filling station, expressed sadness that petrol is currently difficult to get. Gilbert noticed that some stations were even stockpiling merchandise in order to sell it at greater prices if the situation worsened. Yesterday, anxious motorists and other petroleum users in the lengthy lineups at the Port Harcourt Township NNPC Mega Station, one of the few outlets dispensing petrol, appealed to government and relevant authorities to remedy the caused price spike and shortage of products in the state and surroundings.