There is disguiet in the entire South-East zone and other areas under the Enugu depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, following the sudden increase in the pump price of petroleum products.
Saga Gist observed that from N185 per litre, the commodity is now sold at N200 and above, with many petrol stations under lock and key.
The development is already adding to the sufferings of the people, with astronomical increases in the prices of goods and services.
Reacting, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), threatened to withdraw their services.
They lamented that the private depots are the cause of the hike in the price, stressing that they are buying from them at the cost of N185 per liter, adding that after other expenses the price would rise to N200 per litre.
They regretted that even at N200 per liter, their business could not thrive considering the high cost of diesel to power the station and the exploitation from private tank depot owners and NUPENG.
The group appealed to the federal government to revive all NNPC depots within the Eastern zone to enable them to get premium motor spirit at a regulated price.
They asked for the intervention of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
“It is no longer news that premium motor spirit, known as petrol, is sold at N200 per litre in the Eastern part of Nigeria, including Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri, Awka, Uyo, Cross River, Aba, Yenagoa, Makurdi and Lokoja.
“The real cause of the price hike is the incessant increment in price by private depot owners. A litre of fuel is being sold to us at the rate of N185 per litre. When you add transport and logistics, including the exploitation by NUPENG in the name of union fee which is over One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira, N120,000, per truck, the price will be more than N200 per liter.
“Even at N200 per litre, considering the high cost of diesel to power the station and the exploitation from private tank depot owners and NUPENG, our business cannot thrive. Our various associations have met, and we have resolved to withdraw our services.
“We cannot cope with the harsh environment of doing business, caused by private depot owners and NUPENG. We are calling on the federal government to revive our various NNPC depots within the Eastern zone to enable us to get premium motor spirit at a regulated price.
“We are also calling on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the management of the NNPC to please appeal to the leadership of NUPENG to lessen our burden by reducing the loading fee,” the group said.
On their part, concerned residents asked the Federal Government to wade into the crisis situation and ensure that the marketers also get the product at the same cost with their counterparts in other parts of the country.
“It is sad that we are always being subjected to this kind of suffering. Why should petrol marketers down here in the East buy the commodity at a higher price? It is not justifiable and we are asking the government to look into the complaints of members of IPMAN,” a concerned resident said.