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Nigerian Governors Warn Fuel Marketers against Hoarding, Price Hike

The governors are set to deploy special monitoring teams to ensure compliance.

Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, and Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, have cautioned oil marketers to avoid imposing needless hardship on the citizens through creation of artificial fuel scarcity in states across the country.

Similarly, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State have threatened to clamp down oil marketers hoarding petrol in their respective states to create artificial scarcity and price hike

The governors gave the warning in separate statements on Tuesday.

The oil marketers had resorted to hoarded and hiked prices immediately President Bola Tinubu announced in his inaugural speech that fuel subsidy was over.

AbdulRazaq, said, he was seriously concerned about reports of sudden fuel scarcity in different parts of the state, stressing that it was totally uncalled for.

In a statement issued in Ilorin, that was signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, AbdulRazaq, however asked marketers to immediately discharge fuel to the public under the normal pricing system since they had bought what they currently have at subsidised rates.

He stated: “Creating artificial scarcity amounts to intentional misrepresentation of the statement of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the question of fuel subsidy. The people should not be made to undergo any hardship.

“The governor urges the marketers to desist from anything that qualifies as economic sabotage of the people.

“Hoarding fuel bought at subsidised price and creating panic in the state is opportunistic and will not be condoned.

“The Deputy Governor Mr. Kayode Alabi will be leading a task force to ensure that no fuel marketer causes undue hardship to the citizens in Kwara State.”

AbdulRazaq added, “Fuel stations are to note that the Task Force will dip into their pits. Any filling stations found to be hoarding fuel will have their Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) revoked, among other penalties.”

Diri, also directed oil marketers in the state against hoarding and raising price of petrol.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the Bayelsa governor warned that his administration would take stern measures against any filling station that flout the directive.

He said the government had received reports that filling stations in the state capital had hiked the pump price of petrol above the usual price of between N193 and N250 per litre and now being sold at N500 per litre and above.

Marketers in the state were said to have reacted to the pronouncement by Tinubu during his inauguration on Monday, that the federal government subsidy on petrol “was gone.”

The Bayelsa governor said it was wicked for oil marketers to swiftly seek to profiteer at the detriment of the people following a mere pronouncement that had not taken effect.

He noted that the pump price of petrol was a significant determinant of the cost of goods and services in the country and that his administration would not allow the people of Bayelsa to suffer undue hardship from the profiteering activities of greedy businessmen.

Diri said he had directed the Ministry of Mineral Resources and the petroleum task force in the state to shut down any filling station hoarding the product or caught selling above the usual price.

He said: “I have directed the relevant ministry and the state’s task force on petroleum to ensure that all filling stations sell petrol within the usual price range.

“I have equally directed that any filling station that flouts this directive or fails to revert to the usual price be shut down. We will take further stern measures against any station that defaults.

Also, Osun State Government, on Tuesday, vowed to arrest and prosecute oil marketers who hoard fuel in a bid to create artificial scarcity in the state.

A statement issued by the spokesperson for Adeleke, Olawale Rasheed, on Tuesday, noted that a Special Monitoring Team would move around the state to ensure that all filling stations complied with the directive.

The stern warning came on the heels of reported deliberate hoarding of petrol by fuel dealers in the state.

The statement read, “The attention of the Osun State Government has been drawn to the deliberate hoarding of PMS by the fuel dealers within the State as a result of the statement from the Inaugural Speech of the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy, thereby causing unnecessary hardship for the people in the state.

“This deliberate action is not only inhumane, but unpatriotic and will not be allowed by the government.

“To this end, the Special Monitoring Team on fuel scarcity set up by Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage.”

It added, “As from today, 30th May 2023, the Committee shall begin special monitoring of all the filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.

“Any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity shall be sealed off and operators prosecuted for crime of economic sabotage.”

In a statement by the Chief of Staff to the Edo State Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha, the governor was quoted as warning that any petrol station caught hoarding products would lead to revocation of its landed property.

“The attention of Edo State Government has been drawn to the unscrupulous attempt by petrol dealers in the state to hoard fuel and create artificial scarcity and price hike.

“As a responsible government that cares for her citizens, we shall resist this economic sabotage by every legal means possible.

 “To this end, all petrol stations are ordered to immediately resume sales of the products to Edo people or risk immediate closure, and possible revocation of their property to enable others who want to do legitimate and respectful business in Edo State come and invest,” the statement said.

It added that the government cannot continue to allow extortion of Edo people in whatever guise, warning that “a word is enough for the wise.”

Oyebanji has summoned fuel marketers in the State for a meeting This was sequel to his warning message to them not to hoard the fuel because of Tinubu’s statement on the removal of fuel subsidy.

As at the time of filling this report, all petrol stations in the state remained under lock and key.

Apparently irked by the development, the state governor surmmoned the petroleum marketers in the state for a meeting on Tuesday. This was contained in a press release signed by the Special Adviser on media to the governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode.

The governor urged the marketers to await further directives on the implementation of the planned subsidy removal by the federal government and avoid actions “capable of inflicting hardship on the citizens.”

“According to the Governor, heavy sanctions await any filing station or marketer found hoarding petroleum product or involved in arbitrary increase in prices of petroleum product in the state.”

The release further stated that, “Meanwhile, Governor Oyebanji has invited the leadership of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to a meeting in his office by 4pm today”

“The Governor urges the citizens of the state to go about their daily activities peacefully and avoid any rancorous situation”

Peter Uzoho in Lagos, Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa, Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

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