Again, marketers have been fingered for the cause of scary fuel scarcity which has loomed the country in the yuletide season. This time, the accusation was made by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
According to PENGASSAN, the marketers are hoarding the Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petro, to cause increase in price, possibly to N170 per litre.
It specifically stated that dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Maketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, as well as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria were all involved in the hoarding and diversion of the product, a development that further worsened the scarcity of the product across the country on Friday.
The National President of PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson, said this in Abuja, stating that the scarcity of fuel across the country has nothing to do with recent threat of the association to embark on strike.
He clarified that the main cause of the fuel hike was the push for increase in pump price by the marketers, which PENGASSAN would not support.
“And let me say it here that the oil marketers are complaining, they’ve been looking for ways to increase fuel price. But the labour unions, Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and PENGASSAN are the ones who still fight and say to the marketers that they can’t do that. All of the marketers, IPMAN, DAPPMA, MOMAN, etc, have been agitating for petrol price increase.
“They give you so many reasons, they say dollar is not accessible, they say this, they say that, but we tell them ‘no’, you can’t do that. And so subtle hoarding begins to take place, they start looking for ways to force the government to increase price. That is the game.”
Stressing that PENGASSAN had nothing to do with the fuel scarcity, Johnson said, “Like I told you earlier, left to the marketers, PMS will be selling at N500 per litre because they are there to make profits.
“They say they don’t have access to crude oil, they lack access to dollars and that it is only the NNPC that is importing. We said go and import, but they said if they must do that, fuel should be increased to N170 per litre.”