By Dayo Johnson
AKUREâ€”WORRIED by the unwholesome activities of petrol dealers in Ondo State in the last two months, the Petroleum Product Monitoring Committee has clamped down on over 25 filling stations that were extorting unsuspecting consumers in the state.
It, however, promised tough times for dealers who are out to take advantage of hapless motorists in the state.
Activities of the dealers had resulted in scarcity of the products in the last two months as the major marketers divert the consignment to filling stations owned by independent marketers and sell for N90 and N100 per litres.
Motorists have been suffering just as black market operation boomed during the period of the scarcity.
In what looked like a wake up from their slumber, the coordinator of the committee, Alhaji Jimoh Bello vowed to deal with petroleum marketers, who perpetrate dubious practices.
Bello who spoke after a meting with the dealers and representatives of major oil marketers in the state, however, said the major marketers must exhibit utmost sincerity in the distribution and sales of petroleum products.
He stated that the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko had last year facilitated the pumping of products to the Ore depot of the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Bello however, said loading of petroleum products in the depot was suspended early 2010 due to reason that was not known to the committee.
He regretted that since the development, marketers in the state had been hiding under various excuses to either divert products or hike prices of petroleum products.
The coordinator, who frowned at the activities of some oil companies in conjunction with their dealers, said the committee would not hesitate to recommend the revocation of certificate of occupancy.
He maintained that the committee would intensify the implementation of tougher sanctions on erring filling stations.
But while reacting to complaint that consignment meant for the state are being booked for government activities hence the scarcity, the Committee Media Relation Office Taiwo Ibitoye denied such claims.
Ibitoye said such claims are part of the gimmicks marketers either use to divert product or sell the products at night.
He pointed out that the list of such fraudulent dealers would soon be forwarded to the state security operatives for investigation.
According to him, “the Committee is in constant touch with the various depots in Ibadan and Lagos to known the consignment that comes to the state on daily basis”, adding that “there is no justifications for any major marketer to sell its product above the pump price”.