The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has lauded the Federal Government for improved supply of petrol across the country.
Chief Ikechukwu Nwankwo, the Chairman of Enugu Depot of IPMAN, made the commendation in an interview in Awka on Wednesday.
Most filling stations in Awka now sell petrol at the government approved price of N145 per litre, while few others still sell at N150 per litre.
Nwankwo said the fuel scarcity of December 2017 and early this year had eased because of increase in the supply of the product.
He said that re-activation of the country’s refineries and depots would fully address the issue of petrol scarcity.
Nwankwo also said the sudden compliance of marketers with the normal price regime was an indication that the issue of price hike “did not lie well with IPMAN”.
“To us the marketers, there was no magic; the normalisation of the petrol situation is because there is improved supply now unlike what was happening before when there was no product.
“Our members are now able to sell at N145 because they can buy at almost normal cost and I am sure in the next two weeks, everything would have been okay if they sustain the tempo.
“We are happy that government has addressed the issue of supply, that is why there is no queue at the mega stations.
“We need the Federal Government to re-activate our refineries so that they can function optimally and all our depots should be made to work,’’ he said.
Meanwhile the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), in the course of their monitoring, confirmed compliance by marketers.
Mr Okechukwu Okoro, the Zonal Controller of DPR in Enugu, told NAN that two filling stations were sealed for selling above the approved pump price and suspected diversion.
Okoro said that cases of suspected diversion had reduced, but warned that there would be no hiding place for unpatriotic marketers in the zone.
“We visited some filling stations in Awka, Oyi, Nkpor and Ogidi in the course of our monitoring and price was largely normal and allocated products were confirmed.
“We sealed two stations, one for selling at N150 per litre and another for suspected diversion because we did not see a particular product there; we are still investigating them,’’ he said.
Okoro said the situation would not have degenerated if marketers had played by the rules, adding that DPR would not relent until marketers stopped selling above government approved price.
Mr Ejike Nwokoye, a motorist in Awka, expressed relief over the enforcement of government approved pump price of N145.
“Ordinarily, we shouldn’t be jubilating because there was no conscious effort by those in charge to correct the problem, but knowing this country, it may become normal after six months.
“There is need for adequate planning so that our inventories don’t run down; our refineries should be repaired and made to work because as it is now we rely on imports.
“Private investors should be encouraged to invest in refineries and more marketers should be licensed to import,’’ he said. (NAN)