A surveillance team of the Department of Petroleum Resource, DPR, North West zone, has uncovered 23, 800 litres of petrol hoarded in three independent filling stations in Kaduna.
The fuel scarcity lasted through the Christmas and New Year celebrations forcing thousands of motorists to spend hours queuing for petrol.
Although things appeared to return to normal in Lagos and Abuja after the celebrations, motorists in many other states including Kaduna have been forced to buy petrol at prices far above the official N145 per litre.
Only few filling stations belonging to major marketers in Kaduna metropolis sell at official N145 pump price, with long queues stretching into the distance.
A survey by our reporter also showed that many of the independent marketers’ filling stations still remain without fuel.
Isa Tafida, the team leader and the Zonal Operations Controller in Kaduna, said upon the discovery of the hoarded product from the three erring stations, the team ordered and supervised its immediate sales to motorist.
He said the stations, namely Suabco Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Shemako Nigeria Limited and Niyya Ventures, are all located along Nnamdi Azikwe way bypass, had in their reservoirs 11, 800, 9,200 and 2, 800 liters of petrol respectively.
“The three petrol stations have been sanctioned for unwholesome practices ranging from hoarding; sales above government approved price as well as pump adjustment during a surveillance exercise conducted by the North West Zonal office of the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR),” he said.
The controller described the finding as unfortunate and insensitive on the part of the affected filling stations.
“Motorists are suffering due to lack fuel but people are busy hoarding the product causing unnecessary queues and hardship on motorists.
“They now sell early in the morning and late at night.
“Apart from that, these erring filling stations are selling above pump price and they are under dispensing motorists between one to two liters,” he said.
Mr. Tafida also said the erring marketers were aware that the surveillance teams were going into the nooks and crannies of the state for activities saying, “they are monitoring our movements that are why they have devised a strategy to stop selling during the day.”
But, the National Financial Secretary and former Chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, Gambo Tuge, however, advised the DPR to focus their monitoring on private depots, instead of filling stations.
“Many of these private depots in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri are the major factors that DPR should focus on. They are the ones hoarding millions of litres in their depots and not these petty filling stations that DPR is always invading.
“These depots have two accounts, they will ask for deposit of money for official price per litre in a separate account and give another account for extra money per litre they charge . So, how do you expect somebody who bought a litre at the rate of between N180-N200 to sell at official pump price?” he asked.