The monitoring team of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has embarked on a tour of filling stations across Lagos metropolis to check the excesses of some owners whose dishonest activities are frustrating governmentâ€™s efforts at easing the fuel crisis being experienced nationwide.
The tour which kicked off Saturday, at Maryland, Lagos is coming on the heels of allegations of pump price hike and hoarding by some filling station owners who connive with black marketers to make brisk business at the expense of the masses.
At virtually all the stations visited, the product was available and being sold at the official pump price of N145 but the fuel attendants were seen giving priority to buyers with big rubber gallons while motorists waited patiently in queues until officials of PPPRA intervened.
At Majok filling station, Ladipo, the monitoring team seized some already filled 25litre gallons of fuel because the gate of the station was closed to motorists while fuel was being dispensed into gallons when the team arrived. A motorist, Idris Olayiwola, who said he stayed in the queue for over 30 minutes before it got to him claimed that the station was equally selling to motorists but controlled the number of cars allowed in at a time.
At Wheel Oil, Shogunle, the station was open but no activity was going on. The manager, Lawal Kazeem, said the product was not available because the cost at the depot was very high; a situation which had prevented them from getting fuel promptly.
It was a similar scenario at Y.T.K Petroleum, Ladipo, where neither attendants nor management personnel were on ground except the car wash.
At Mobil, Mushin, vehicles were locked out while attendants were seen selling to people with gallons and motorcyclists.
A mild drama ensued at G&G Oil & Gas Ltd, Mushin, as the station immediately suspended selling fuel on sighting members of the monitoring team. Motorists and residents in the area had alleged that the station was selling at N200 per litre. The manager of the station declined questions from newsmen to clarify the situation.
While the team recorded considerable success in the campaign, forcing all the stations visited to open up and dispense the product at the right price, motorists and other members of the public have requested that such exercise becomes a regular one to help sanitise the system.
Josin Willdone, a businessman and Fidelis Oboh, who reside at Akute area of Lagos, also advised the team to find a way of monitoring the activities of fuel stations at nights. They alleged that many of them would always increase the pump price when they were sure no one was around to monitor them.
An official of the team who pleaded anonymity hinted that the exercise, which was aimed at ensuring that the current fuel scarcity being witnessed across the country ended before the New Year, would continue Sunday, December 31.