Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Following public outcry over the rising cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Bayelsa, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Tuesday insisted that it will shut down filling stations in the state selling the product above the official pump price.
Most filling stations in the state had in the past week hiked the price of fuel from N145 to N160 per litre, a hike that affected transportation fares.
The organisation said that it was worried that Independent Petroleum Marketers in Yenagoa, the state capital, suddenly increased their pump price by a whopping N15, describing it as illegal.
Speaking after an emergency meeting with independent marketers in the state, on Tuesday, DPR’s Head of Operations, Ibinabo Jack, warned that if they do not revert to N145, the affected stations would be closed down immediately.
He asked them to immediately revert to the original price of N145 per litre, or be sanctioned insisting that they had no reason to increase the price of the product.
“I personally went round and discovered that all the filling stations were selling above the pump price. They were selling at the rate of N160 for PMS. We frown at that and condemn it. The sudden rise in pump price is not welcome by DPR.
“DPR has not noticed any form of price increase and there is no directives for fuel pump increase. The pump price still remains at N145 per litre. From now after this briefing with the marketers, the DPR will not hesitate to impose stringent penalties upon anyone found selling above the pump price.
“PMS at the depot as at the beginning of the week still remain N133, and so we are saying that marketers have no reason to say they have written to the authority or that they were granted approval by someone to sell above the pump price approved by the Petroleum Products Regulatory Agency (PPRA)” he said.
The Bayelsa State Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Erefemota Peters, in his remarks, said the increase was caused by hike in depot price.
He said marketers in Bayelsa sourced products from the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries at prices above N142.
According to him, after including transport cost, there was no way the marketers in the state could sell at the government approved price of N145.