By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.
Just as the effects of petroleum scarcity bite harder in the state, Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) Wednesday picketed petroleum dealers who sell the product above the official pump price of N86 .5 within Abeokuta metropolis of Ogun State.
The NSCDC officials began their operation around 8.30am and invaded some of the petroleum filling stations who were noted for dispensing the product above the official pump price.
Two Station Attendants who deliberately hoarded the product were arrested by the NSCDC officials, while they compelled the sales of the pms at other three filling stations which had the product but refused to sell to consumers.
At the popular Ita – Eko area of Abeokuta, workers at the MAAN IPC filling station which discharged products into its underground tank the previous night, took to their heels upon sighting the NSCDC anti – hoarding task force.
About three of the workers were however arrested few hours later by the NSCDC officials who had laid siege in anticipation of their resurfacing through the assistance of the suffering petrol consumers who would not leave the station.
Following pleas from the suffering members of the society, particularly those impatient petrol consumers to allow the workers to commence sales, the NSCDC ordered that the product be dispensed to customers at the official pump price of N86. 5.
After the petrol attendants had dispensed the product for about an hour, the impatient crowd disrupted the sales, particularly because of the non-sales into kegs and jerricans, the development forced the NSCDC officials to order stoppage of sales to avoid an ugly incident.
Speaking with newsmen at the scene, the NSCDC Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the state, Kareem Olanrewaju explained that the Corp’s anti – hoarding team was out to ensure that those petroleum marketers who got their supplies through government do not engage in any sharp practice which may be inimical to the government’s policy.
He said his team has always been guided by the product’s Way Bill which allows every fuel laden truck to discharge at any particular filling station before they determine the appropriate sanction for such petroleum dealer.
“We have being to ten different filling stations, but discovered that only about two major marketers had the product and were dispensing at the prescribed pump price. We are guided by the fact that those who buy their product through independent marketers sell at the price determined by their principals, but those who got their supplies through government are forced to dispense to consumers at the regulated price”.
Olanrewaju however, stated further that the exercise would continue so as to ensure that dealers do not hoard the product in the state.