The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Imo State in eastern Nigeria has sealed-off over five filling stations in Owerri, the state capital for selling petrol above the Federal Government’s approved price of 87 Naira per litre.
This action prompted petroleum marketers in the state to embarked on a three-day warning strike, calling on the DPR to open the filling stations and also implore the Federal Government to provide petrol at the approved price to enable marketers sell at 87 Naira per litre.
The said most of the marketers buy at higher prices at the petrol depots which automatically resulted to heavy loss in their business.
It came as a rude shock to residence of Owerri in Imo state as they woke up with the news that all the fillings station operating in the state had shut down without any prior notice.
Reports revealed that some of the filling stations within the Owerri Metropolis were sealed-off by the DPR, infuriating members of the Association of Petroleum Marketers in the state, who decided to shut down in solidarity as they embarked on a three-day warning strike.
While briefing reporters on the reason for their actions, the people condemned the continued harassment of their members by the DPR in the state.
The association maintained that if after three days the alleged injustice by the DPR continued, and the Federal Government failed to provide petrol at the approved price, they would have no option than to go on indefinite strike
While appealing to the DPR to direct petrol depots to regulate their prices, the Chairman of the Imo State Petroleum Task Force said the state could not do much to intervene because the marketers buy at higher prices
While addressing the marketers, the DPR in the state said their job was to enforce compliant to Federal Government’s directive of ensuring that filling stations sell at the approved price of 87 Naira. He said they do not have any role to play in pricing, adding that the filling stations under their seal is a corrective measure to enforce compliance by defaulting filling stations.
It is the first day of the three-day warning strike and residence of the state have lamented over the untold hardship experienced in getting to their desired location.
It is, however, expected that the petroleum marketers and the DPR would meet to chat a way forward in the best interest of the citizens.