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Oil marketers in Nigeria have described the present scarcity Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and other petroluem products as a tactics deployed by the Federal Government and its agencies to hike the price of petrol in the country.
Nigeria’s major oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had on on Monday insisted that it had enough product to keep the country wet with petrol for about 40 days or even more.
The queues by motorists for petrol grew worse in Abuja and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger on Monday as only a few filling stations dispensed the commodity.
According to the marketers, this was due to the rise in global crude oil prices and the increase in the foreign exchange rate in Nigeria which they believe the NNPC was not being sincere about.
Many roads with filling stations that dispensed products in various parts of Abuja witnessed severe traffic jam on Monday, as motorists formed long queues on the roads.
The Forte Oil filling station opposite Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, for instance, had long queues that stretched into adjourning roads and caused a heavy traffic jam in the area.
Similar scenarios played out along the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Airport Road, Zuba-Kaduna Road, Nyanya-Mararaba Road, among others.
Speaking on the development, the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said the current scarcity would lead to a hike in price.
Explaining what the situation looked like he said, ‘They (government) want people to buy it at a high rate before they will announce an increase in price. When filling stations or black marketers start selling it at around N250/litre, they will then announce a pump price that could be between N180 to N200/litre.
‘Then people will now say, oh thank God for we now have patrol no matter the increase in price. It is a market tactic. And it is intentionally done to effect a change in price.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK