Some independent petroleum marketers in Edo state are now selling petrol for 150 naira per litre instead of the regulated price of 145 naira.
Motorists, as well as petroleum marketers, who spoke to Channels Television in Benin City, the Edo state capital, lamented the increase in the price saying it has brought more hardship on the people.
Meanwhile, some fuel stations in the state did not have products for sale. Some who had the product were selling above the approved price of 145 Naira a litre.
A fuel marketer, Valentine Aisuen, said: “PMS is not readily available in most of the depots and apart from that, the price at which we are buying it is high because of the limited product that is available.
“We are buying at 145, we haulage for three naira and it gets here at 148 and we now sell for 150.”
The marketers who were seen selling at the recommended price said it would not be for long before they join the fray as they were not making profit from their sales.
“If you check our pump price now we still remain at 145 naira per litre, our meter reading is accurate.
“We are keeping that to make sure we remain with our customer but we are going to do it for the time being, pending when the union will come up with their report for us to shut down because the cost of buying now, I don’t think anybody is making profit if you cannot sell above 145 naira per litre.”
Some motorists also lamented the hardship the increase in price has brought to the people.
A driver told Channels TV: “Passengers complain, drivers too are complaining because things are difficult. We heard they have increased it to 200 naira; this morning some people bought for 150, some others for 200.
“Selling above that 150 is really biting us and things are not moving well. Supposing things are moving on and the power is stable then we can cope. But the power is not stable and the energy we are getting which is the fuel is very high, so it’s biting everyone one of us; we are feeling it real bad.”
Attempts to ascertain the cause of the scarcity at the Benin depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was met with stiff resistance by the chief security officer who denied the news crew access to key officers of the depot.
“I am working under instruction, don’t provoke me this afternoon; I beg you in the name of God don’t provoke me,” he warned.
Although the head of the Department Of Petroleum Resources (DPR) was not on seat, another official who wished not to be named said that the scarcity was due to power outage at the Warri refinery which has now been addressed.
He promised that the situation would normalize soon.