Oil marketers under the aegis of the Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria have threatened to stop dispensing Premium Motor Spirit, also called petrol, accusing the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, of creating price disparity in the market.
They also threatened to lock up their filing stations over the matter until the minister rescinded his directive.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna, the National Secretary, AMFSON, Kenneth Nwachukwu, said Kachikwu’s directive that some filling stations should sell petrol for between N130 and N145 per litre was unacceptable to the association.
He noted that there was no economic sense in the price disparity since all marketers, whether major or independent, were buying petrol from the same source, warning that the development would throw the entire country into another round of fuel scarcity.
The AMFSON scribe, called on Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, to reverse the decision without further delay, otherwise “the fuel crisis experienced by Nigerians in the recent past will be a child’s play.”
According to him, the price disparity can create room for the black market to thrive because fuel will not go to the approved sources as some persons are ready to dispose of the product instantly at the depot.
Nwachukwu said, “But with this pronouncement by the minister, we foresee a looming fuel scarcity because some unscrupulous persons will rather patronise the black market at the detriment of approved marketers.
“We have never seen this kind of policy before; in fact, it will increase corruption, which the government is fighting tooth and nail to stop. Some people are already bribing their way to get petroleum products and sell at lower prices, while some of us who are not ready to bribe our way will get and sell at higher prices.
“The implication of this is that no buyer will look at our side to buy from us, thereby forcing us to keep the products for several months before selling them. We cannot be in the river and allow soap to enter our eyes.”
He added, “Take a look at the Kaduna situation, for instance, how can someone in Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna city be selling at a lower pump price and another person will be selling at a higher price along the Eastern Bypass in the same vicinity? Is there justice in this kind of supply and distribution of NNPC products?
“We want to recall that in the heat of the recent past fuel crisis in the country, we had a meeting with the minister, where we proffered solutions to the fuel scarcity problem.”
Nwachukwu said if pushed to the wall, the association would mention names of those Nigerians sabotaging the minister’s efforts to end the fuel crisis.