Artificial Scarcity of Fuel Hits Kogi

Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja

Palpable fear may have gripped motorists and computers in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, following the artificial scarcity  of petrol orchestrated by the independent marketers in the state.

It was gathered that most of the filling stations in Lokoja metropolis are already hoarding their stock and have closed the their filling stations in some cases.

Those spotted selling in the early hours on Wednesday horridly closed their stations upon receiving information that some independent marketers in Lokoja were not selling their products to customers.

Where petrol was available, there was a long queue where the motorists spent hours before they could get fuel for their vehicles.

Sources hinted that some independent marketers are now selling petrol within the range of N700 to N730 per litre which is above the official pump price.

Black marketers, however, have also capitalise on the scarcity of fuel as they are now selling within N1000 to N1,200 per litre.

Speaking to a motorist identified as Musa Umar, who wanted to purchase fuel in one of the filling stations, he lamented that the scarcity is biting harder on the people.

According to him, “I just came back from the eastern part of the country and things are normal there. But when I came back to Lokoja yesterday, I discovered that many filing station are not dispensing fuel.

“What could be the reasons for this scarcity? The cost of living is very high. Transportation has hit the roof. People are suffering. The president should do something quickly before things get out of hand. We heard that the price of fuel will soon go down that is why this marketers are hoarding it.

“I don’t know how true this is anyway.  The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) should check the activities of petroleum marketers in Kogi State as they are afflicting pains on citizens of the state.”

Effort to reach the Kogi State Coordinator of NMDPRA, Ogbe Orits Godwin, on this development proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Marktot Oil and Gas Limited and Chairman, AF Ralph Progressive Ventures, Ralph Arokoyo, has debunked  the rumors, making the rounds that marketers fixed prices of petrol, saying it is not possible for individual marketer to determine the price in Kabba and its environs.

Arokoyo disclosed this in an interview while speaking yesterday, noting that  oil and gas business is highly competitive, and that every marketer sells what they purchase.

He explained that in recent time, the product has not been gotten directly from NNPC , adding that they equally buy from private depots who sell to them at different prices,

Arokoyo also noted that the  reasons for increase in price recently was as a result of a lot of bottleneck that made it so while purchasing from private depot,

“We get the product at exorbitant price of N670 per litre from Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt and other places, and pay as high as N45  per litre to transport to Kogi State making the landing cost N715  for marktot oil and gas originally. 

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