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FG links petrol price increase to profiteers

The federal government has linked the increasing rise in the price of petrol in the country to the action of petroleum marketers who are in…

The federal government has linked the increasing rise in the price of petrol in the country to the action of petroleum marketers who are in a hurry to make illicit profits from the hardship of Nigerians.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this on Wednesday while fielding questions from State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Reports have it that most fuel stations in different parts of the country now sell above the approved pump price of N195, with many others reportedly hoarding the product.

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Speaking on the development, Sylva rued the hardship the situation had forced on the populace, stating that the ministry might repeat an earlier directive to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to go after marketers profiteering with the current situation and sanction them.

The minister, who said the government was not just watching as citizens suffer, assured that all stakeholders in the downstream sector were working to ensure the current crisis was brought under control.

He said, “We have reports of profiteering by marketers, and I’ve directed NMDPRA to sanction anybody who profiteers in this kind of situation. I mean, we cannot stand by and watch our citizens being exploited by marketers. But of course, I’ve given that directive and I don’t know if it has not taken effect. I don’t know the details of how far that directive has been carried out. But I’m going to still further give that directive if that is still the situation, but definitely, we are not paying a blind eye at all.”

Sylva, while stating that the Ministry of Petroleum was not in control of all the factors that had contributed to the fuel scarcity crisis, assured that all steps were being taken to end the hardship.

He added, “This is quite unfortunate; we are not happy at all about what is going on and every hand is on the deck. As I said earlier, the Ministry of Petroleum is not in control of all the factors that lead to scarcity in the sense that there are Forex issues as well as other issues

“But at the moment today, there is supply, but unfortunately, we are experiencing some bottlenecks with the distribution and movement of the product to various destinations for now. I want to assure you that everything is being done; the NNPC Limited, NMDPRA, the marketers, everybody’s hand is on deck to ensure that this problem is resolved and to also inform you today we had a briefing from INEC and INEC has also engaged NNPC and NNPC have assured INEC that petroleum products supply to INEC will not be a problem and so that will not likely affect the election at all.”

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