…As Obaseki Sets Up C’ttee To Monitor Fuel Distribution
…to meet with stakeholders in distribution value chain to check scarcity, price hike
By Simeon OSAJIE
Hundreds of angry Nigerians today Monday 30th January, 2023 staged a protest over protracted fuel scarcity and hike in the price of the product in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The protesters blocked major roads leading to Benin City.
The9JaTREND gathered that the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol had gone up, with some fuel stations selling between N400 to N600 per litre, thereby causing untold hardship to Nigerians.
The official cost of the product used to be N165 per litre before recent reports accuse the government of quietly increasing it to N185 per litre. But due to the scarcity of the product and the rising demand, many fuel stations have been selling for between N400 and N600 per litre.
Recall, President Buhari had set up a 14-man committee that he would be heading to proffer solutions to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
The committee according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylvia, will be chaired by the President as the Minister of Petroleum Resources while he will be the alternate chairman.
The committee’s job is to address the challenges in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, causing petrol scarcity in Nigeria.
It will also track petroleum products, especially petrol to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.
Sylvia said this through the Permanent Secretary in the petroleum resources ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, who represented him during the 2002 graduation ceremony of students of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI).
Meanwhile, following protests across the State on the scarcity and hike in the price of petroleum products, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has disclosed plans to set up a committee to monitor the distribution and pricing of the product in order to ensure that shylock marketers do not take advantage of the situation to rip Edo citizens off.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie said the governor will, in the next 24 hours, also schedule a meeting with all stakeholders in the product distribution value chain to deliberate on the issues responsible for the distribution hurdles and price hike and find lasting solutions to the matter.
The statement reads: “The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has studied the grievances expressed by protesters as stated in the letter addressed to him on the issue.
“The government acknowledges the plight of the Edo people who have had to endure gruelling experiences accessing petroleum products as well as the exorbitant prices the product is sold for in the State in the last few days.
“On account of that, the government is undertaking the following actions within the next 24 hours: set up a Monitoring Committee made up of actors in the private sector, civil society organisations and government, who will monitor the distribution and pricing of the product in order to ensure that shylock marketers do not take advantage of the situation to rip Edo citizens off.
“Government will ‘schedule a meeting with all stakeholders in the product distribution value chain to deliberate on the issues responsible for distribution hurdles and price hike and find lasting solutions to the matters arising.’
“The government thanks all Edo people for being law-abiding and also appreciates the protesters for being peaceful even as we work with all concerned to ease the situation and build a progressive State together.”