In spite of the directive to petroleum products marketers to sell at the official pump price, some marketers in Owerri still sell at nearly double the approved N86.50 price.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Department of Petroleum Resources had constituted a task force which sealed up five filling stations on Tuesday for infringing on the directive.
The DPR Controller at its South East zonal office in Owerri, Chief Morrison Nwokedi, led the team that sealed up the five erring filling stations.
Investigation by NAN on Friday, however, showed that independent marketers still sold petrol for between N150 and N170.
It also showed that even the filling stations visited by the DPR team had returned to the high price they were selling when the department ordered them to revert to the official rate.
An official of the DPR in Owerri said its enforcement team had visited some filling stations to ensure that the mangers complied with the official pump price.
When NAN visited some of the filling stations on Port Harcourt road, MCC road, Okigwe road, Bank road and Orlu road, on Friday, none of them sold petrol at N86.50 per litre.
A motorist, Chinedu Nwoke, said it was a big surprise that after the DPR had directed marketers to revert to the official pump price, the dealers still flouted the order.
“I was privileged to be here on Tuesday when the DPR team came to visit some of the stations and they immediately reverted to sell at N86.50 per litre.
“It was indeed a surprise that less than two days after, they returned to the outrageous price regime,’’ he said. Nwoke, however, called on the DPR to ensure that petrol marketers complied with the official pump price.
A dealer who preferred anonymity said he could only revert to the government approved price after selling off the product which he had sourced at an exorbitant rate.
“The petrol we have in stock was bought from private tank farms in Lagos and Port Harcourt at a very high rate.
“It will be unfair for anybody to compel us to sell at N86.50 when we sourced it above N130 per litre,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Nwokedi insisted on Friday that the DPR would ensure that petrol sold at government official rate, adding that any defaulting station would be sanctioned.
He urged member of the public to inform his office of any station selling above the official price.