Major petrol Stations in Auchi, Etsako-West Local Government Area of Edo, have closed down for businesses following fuel scarcity in the area. Also the Kwara government on Wednesday warned petroleum products marketers in the state against hoarding or causing artificial scarcity.
At some petrol stations in Auchi, major stations were locked, while petrol attendants sat idly.
Some of the affected Petrol stations are Total, Oando, Auchi, Emeseike, NIPCO and FO stations.
The Manager of Total station, Mr Sola Olajide, said that the fuel scarcity was as a result of fuel shortage at the Warri loading depot.
Olajide said that the station last got PMS supply on Feb. 14.
He attributed the fuel scarcity to non availability of fuel at the depot.
“The Warri depot supplies us fuel and they only supplied PMS on Feb. 14.
“And we have been calling them that we need fuel, but all they tell us is that there is no fuel at the depot,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Manager of FO filling, Mr Majek Saliu, blamed the fuel scarcity on non availability of fuel at the major depot that supplies petroleum products to Auchi.
Saliu said that they get their fuel supplies from the AP deport in Benin, adding that station had been in touch with them to supply them PMS.
“As you can see, we have no fuel. It is not that we don’t want to sell; if they supply us fuel, we will sell.
Saliu debunked rumours that major petrol stations in Auchi deliberately refused to sell fuel because of an impending increase in the price of fuel.
“It is not a deliberate attempt by petrol stations in Auchi to close down due to any planned increase in the prices of petroleum products.
“We sold our last fuel at the rate of N97 per litre. There is no way we can increase when the depot where we get the fuel from has not increased their price.
“If we get supplies now, we will sell at the same rate,’’ he added.
While in Ilorin the Kwara government on Wednesday warned petroleum products marketers in the state against hoarding or causing artificial scarcity.
The government also ordered the marketers to sell the products to the general public to avert transportation crisis.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Petroleum Monitoring, Alhaji Isiaka Amubieya, who led a task-force team to monitor the situation in Ilorin issued the warning.
Besides, Amubieya warned the proprietors that punitive measures awaited any defaulters.
He threatened that the government would deal ruthlessly with “saboteurs” who feed fat on unsuspecting members of the public.
At the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station on Ajase-Ipo road, the governor’s aide directed the filling station to resume sales or risk sanction.
The aide, who discovered that the reserve tank in the station had 2,400 litres of petrol, ordered its Manager, Mr Olasunkanmi Ojo, to dispense the product to members of the public.
It was the same scenario at the AP filling station at the University of Ilorin permanent site as the station was allegedly hoarding the product.
Similar directive by the governor’s aide forced the station to dispense the more than 6,000 litres of the product to the buyers.
A correspondent who was on the entourage reports that buyers used the opportunity to make panic purchases.
While monitoring the sale at the Forte Oil also on Ajase-Ipo road, Amubieya enjoined the station to avoid hoarding and sell according to the approved price.
However, it took the intervention of the monitoring team before orderliness could be restored at another NNPC Mega Station at Tanke area as vehicles and motorcycles struggled to outsmart each other.
At Rockfield on Fate Road, the special assistant ordered the station to dispense the 7,000 litres in its stock to members of the public without delay.
Other petrol stations inspected were Dola Bimbola on Tanke/Oke-Odo and Mobil in Offa-Garage. (NAN)