By Aminu Garko
Minna – The lingering petrol scarcity continues on Wednesday across Niger State as only one truck was allocated to the state in the past two days.
Mr Sunday Senchi, Head of Department of Petroleum Resources operations (DPR) disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after inspecting some filling stations in Minna metropolis.
He said that only three filling stations dispensed petrol on Tuesday.
Senchi explained that as at 12 noon on Wednesday no allocation has been sent to the state.
The DPR official said that the state needs an allocation of about 30 to 40 trucks daily to end the scarcity.
He explained that the department is monitoring filling stations to ensure that those with petroleum products dispense to motorists.
NAN reports that Niger State has two NNPC depots in Minna and Suleja towns.
Senchi warned that the department would not hesitate to dispense products free to motorists from any filling station caught hoarding.
According to him, the department will also ensure that no filling station sell above the government approved prices of N145 per litre.
At the Maitumbi area of Minna, stations such as Muhabat, First Ja’az Global Resources limited and Mutmusa Nig limited were selling above pump price when NAN correspondent visited the area on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, investigation by NAN indicates that motorists spend days at the NNPC Mega station, which is the only one selling at N145 per litre.
Kabiru Abdullahi, a resident of Sauka Kahuta, told NAN that he spent two nights to get the product at the NNPC Mega station.
He said that the scarcity was affecting the daily activities of residents.
Abdullahi called on the Federal Government to constitute a mobile courts to prosecute those found hoarding and selling the product above official pump price.
”If you go to Tunga, Bosso, Old Airport and Maitumbi in the metropolis, you see children selling the product openly.
”I just bought a four litres fuel for N2,500.
”Government should investigate how the product got to the hands of black marketers.”
Malam Bashir Musa of Maitumbi told NAN that ”all the filling stations in Maitumbi have the product but are selling at N400 per litres.
”It’s really business for the black marketers as they are making brisk profit at the expense of motorists.”
Musa called on the task force set up by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to investigate how the product was diverted to black markets.
Ishaku Idris, a commercial driver, said that he slept for two days at the NNPC filling station and pays extra money to petrol attendants to buy the product.
NAN reports that many petroleum marketers in Minna metropolis closed their stations, while the few that opened, sold the product at official pump price but collect extra money before selling.
Hawkers were seen around filling stations making brisk business as five litres of petrol was sold at N3,500 to N 4,000 depending on the location.
Abdulkarim Bello of Ahmadu Bello way told NAN that the task force set up by the NSCDC should redouble their efforts at ending scarcity.
He also called on the state government to continue to monitor the products distribution to end diversion by marketers.