By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA THE Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has threatened to shut down erring filling stations over sudden hike in the pump price of petrol from N145 to N160 per litre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Residents of the state were taken aback last Thursday by the increase in the price of the product by station owners.
But DPR’s Head of Operations, Ibinabo Jack, yesterday after a meeting with both independent and major marketers, frowned on the hike, saying it was not approved by any regulatory body.
He urged them to immediately revert to the original price of N145 per littre, or be sanctioned.
His words: “I personally went around and discovered that all the filling stations were selling above the pump price. They were selling at the rate of N160 naira for PMS. We frown on that and condemn it.
“The sudden rise in pump price is not welcome by DPR. There are no directives for fuel pump increase. The pump price is still N145 per littre. The DPR will not hesitate to impose stringent penalties upon anyone found selling above the pump price.
“The price of PMS at the depot as at the beginning of the week was N133. Marketers have no reason to say they have written to the authority or that they were granted by someone to sell above the pump price approved by the Petroleum Products Regulatory Agency, PPRA.”
However, the Bayelsa state Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, said the increase was due to price increase at the depots.
The group said its members have to source products from Warri and Port Harcourt refineries at prices above N142 and considering the transport cost, there was no way they could sell at the government price.