By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Unpatriotic, Shylock petroleum marketers in Minna and elsewhere in the state have been selling petroleum products including the premium motor spirit, (PMS) kerosene and diesel at higher prices than the official price.
The federal government had at the wake of the sharp drop in the price of crude oil at the international market announced a twenty naira price reduction on pump price of petrol from N143 to N125.
But since the lockdown began in Niger state, most petrol service stations have cashed on the restriction order to hoard their products and sell during nights hours at exorbitant cost.
Similarly, beside the sharp practices, most of the service stations have resorted to hoarding kerosene and sell to road side black market operators who sell at higher costs to desperate buyers.
Despite the reduction in the pump price of petrol by the federal government, most of the independent petroleum marketers in the state have been selling petroleum at N145 and N150 per litre as the lockdown continue.
Most of the service stations prefer to sell at nights hours during the window period. The restriction hours is between 10:00am to 8:00pm. The defaulting service stations prefer to open their service stations after 8:00pm than to sell at the morning window period of between 7:00am to 10:00am when the restriction to movement begins.
Customers are forced to buy from road side black marketers who sell at between N145 to N165 per litre depending on the location or area.
Desperate buyers especially those buying in jerricans to power their generation sets are swindled daily while the operators of the black market and owners of the Shylock petroleum marketers are smiling to their banks.
Reports from rural areas of the state confirmed that petrol service stations in their areas have not reduce the pump price despite the reduction by the federal government and that the price of petrol have continued to go up since the lockdown order started.
A litre of petrol sells between N150