Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
Price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, has continued to rise without any official control in Anambra State.
While some filling stations sell one hundred and seventy-five naira per litre, others sell one hundred and eighty naira depending on location.
Radio Nigeria went round some filling stations in Awka and observed that long queues were gradually returning to the NNPC depot in the area as customers struggled to buy from them at the official pump price of one hundred and sixty-two naira.
The situation has been affecting almost every other business in the area as prices of goods and services had started to increase.
For instance, transportation from the popular Unizik Temporary Site Junction to Eke Awka Market, which used to be fifty naira had risen to one hundred naira while Awka to Onitsha which was formerly two hundred and fifty naira had gone up to four hundred naira.
A wine dealer, Mr. Paul Okolo, said the situation was no longer funny as prices of wine kept rising daily thereby reducing their patronage.
“If it means returning the subsidy they said was removed, let them do, people are suffering here. The price of everything is going up and nobody is controlling it: everyday it keeps going higher,” the wine dealer fumed.
For Comrade Obi Ochije, there was the need for the Federal Government to address the challenges in the down stream sector with a view to finding a lasting solution to the suffering of the masses occasioned by the incessant increase in the pump prices of petroleum products.
“I don’t really know why the federal government will deny that they did not increase the fuel pump price yet the marketers are selling different prices on their own. Is there no taskforce that can enforce federal government approved price on the marketers. They are suffering the poor masses, especially the civil servants, how can they survive?” he queried.
Another road user, Miss Ifeoma Mbaekwe, narrated that the recent increase had adversely affected her business as she no longer made much gains in sale of wears and artificial hairs.
She appealed to the Anambra State Government and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to urgently look into the uncontrolled increase in pump prices of petrol in the country.
“What I have to say is that the transportation and the fuel pump price is affecting our business. It’s not really that the goods are that expensive but when you factor in your expenses, the cost of the commodities become high,” she lamented.
When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Petroleum and Union matters, Comrade Peter Nwosu, said there was the need for the Federal Government to make the NNPC depot in Enugu operational as such gesture would ease the hurdles marketers face in lifting the product.
“This period, the dollar is increasing, crude oil is also increasing and almost ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the product we use is imported.
“That is why I urge the Federal Government to reopen NNPC Enugu depot. If it starts working and norma loading commences, all these things will come down.
“However I have learnt that Enugu depot have just started working but I will go there to find out if it is true. Let the people not panic buying, the product can’t be scars,” Comrade Nwosu remarked.
Comrade Nwosu however assured the residents that the product would not be out of supply as speculated in some quarters even as he called on petroleum dealers to be considerate in their line of business.
As at the time of filling this report, our correspondent observed that only four of the twelve selling points at the NNPC depot n Awka were dispensing fuel to customers.