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NUPENG: Stop exploiting Nigerians or…

 

Marketers of petroleum products who are toying with the wellbeing of the Nigerian people by manipulating the pump price of fuel are to face the wrath of workers in the industry.

To this end, the cartel responsible for selling Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, above depot prices have less than 24 hours to revert to approved selling rates.

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, which rolled out the order on Saturday said it would no longer allow greedy, dubious and unpatriotic marketers of petroleum based products to engage in the exploitation of the masses.

NUPENG in statement signed by its President, Prince William Akporeha and its General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, revealed that unscrupulous marketers are selling PMS supplied from various depots across the country at prices far above the official rate.

The union disclosed that it is aware of a plan by marketers to encourage illegal price increases and compound the suffering of ordinary Nigerians.

“Our attention and empathy have been drawn to the harrowing experiences and pains of the general public”, NUPENG stated, “due to the exploitative and unscrupulous activities and tendencies of Petroleum Products Marketers.”

NUPENG accused marketers whose identities it vowed to unmask of “taking advantage of the seeming gaps and teething challenges in the implementation of Petroleum Industry Act to enrich themselves at the expense of the country and the people.”

“We are giving these Marketers twenty-four (24) hours with effect from midnight of Sunday, 27th February, 2022 to revert  to official rate or we shall name and shame them as public enemies aside from other sanctions”, the Union warned.

Noting that it is an undeniable fact that “PMS is still under subsidy regime”, NUPENG observed that it is “disheartening and worrisome that these unscrupulous Marketers are selling PMS from the depots at prices far above the official rate.”

“We have it on good authority that it’s one Marketer that determines and fixes prices of these products for other Marketers to adopt leaving all consumers (domestic and industrial) at their mercy.

“This unsavory situation is evidently clear from the cries of the airlines Operators, road transport Operators, factories Owners and private homes and offices” NUPENG noted.

“The nation and the people are bleeding and in the absence of any decisive institutional intervention, NUPENG has decided to once again step up in the defense of the people, the nation and the industry.

“We are also by this press release directing all our officials in all our zones to start compiling lists of petrol stations that are in habit of hoarding products during the day and selling at nights at exorbitant rates for possible sanctions.

“These also include Petroleum Products depots that may want to be hoarding products because of our decision on this matter.”

The union maintained that it has painfully “noticed the helplessness of the NNPC” in view of “the implementation of the Act” and also noted that “these Marketers are taking advantage of the newness of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority to rip off Nigerians.”

Although AGO, and DPK are deregulated, the union suggested that there ought to be checks and some measure of control over the prices of such products, otherwise productive activities would be grounded.

Governor of Rivers State, Barr Nyesom Wike

Observers in Rivers State say that the intervention of NUPENG designed to avert the dislocation of the entire system is quite timely.

Most filling stations in and outside Port Harcourt are shut during the day in order to encourage hoarding while some which manage to sell to the public have adjusted pump prices between N190 and N200 per litre.

Some are selling adulterated petroleum products. As a result, cars and motorcycles are developing serious engine problems.

At Igwuruta last week, a group of Okada riders, more than 20 of them, stormed a filling station and threatened to set it ablaze.

Our investigation shows that the fuel sold to them which affected the engines of their bikes was mixed with water.

One eyewitness told this publication that the owner of the said filling station had to part with N300,000 in order to appease the angry bikers.

A Toyota Corolla driven by a young Etche man recently caught fire on his way to Odufor community for a wedding.

He was accompanied on that trip by his wife and mother.

Luckily, they escaped being burnt, but there is increasing suspicion that adulterated fuel could have been responsible for the explosion which was heard from the engine before the vehicle burst into flames.

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