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Scarcity bites harder in Osun

10 March 2014, 16:05

Osogbo - A litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) sold for N120 in Osogbo, the Osun capital, and its environs on Saturday, following the biting fuel scarcity in parts of the country.

The last few days has seen the return of the long queues to the filling station.

This development has led to PMS now selling for more than the stipulated N97 pump price.

In Osogbo, most of the filling stations within the metropolis, apart from Oduwoye and Conoil Oil, were only selling petroleum products in the early morning of Saturday.

Other stations simply shut their gates to customers.

At Ile-Ife, heavy queues were noticed in the filling stations which opened for business in the town, while many of them were under lock and key.

Most of the filling stations along Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Campus road were open but not selling to customers.

An official of one of the filling stations, who asked to be anonymous, said that they had been instructed to stop selling PMS.

He said this was as a result of the continued shortage in the supply of the product from the main depot in Ibadan.

"We have not been able to ascertain the real cause of the shortage, but we gathered that it has to do with non-payment of subsidy money to some marketers who have genuine claims,’’ the official said.

The manager of Conoil Oil at Mayfair area of  Ile-Ife, Femi Eluyera, described the scarcity as a national phenomenon which needed to be addressed headlong.

"It is a national issue. Osun is just getting its own share of the problem and I hope the situation will get better soon, but it requires urgent dialogue amongst stakeholders," Eluyera said.

Also, the manager of one of the AP filling stations in Ilesa, who did not want his name in print, blamed government for the scarcity.

"The government knows where the problem is coming from. Its officials cannot pretend as if they do not know what is going on.

"How can you continue to deal with subsidy thieves with kid gloves, while you are callously withholding the money of those who have really imported petroleum products?

"Those marketers who are round-tripping and defrauding the government should be made to return all the money they have collected  while adequate provision should be made for genuine importers,’’ he said.

-  NAN

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