By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Notwithstanding the assurance given by the NNPC that pump price of petrol will not be increased now, residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, are groaning under the weight of increases in the cost of petroleum products including oil just as fuel queues have resurfaced.
For example, a litre of engine oil which sold for N1,200 last week now sell for N2,800. Also, a 75cl bottle of engine which sold for N500 last week is being sold now for N900.
A retailer at Dakwo village near Kabusa suburb, FCT, Hajia Aishatu Na’ Allah argued that a 25 litre engine oil which she bought for N17,000 last week is sold for N25,000 this week in Abuja.
According to her, “we sell with small profit as the marketers have increased the prices of engine oil. We are not happy but that is what it is “.
A drive round the Abuja metropolis Friday showed long queues at few filling stations that still dispenses petrol, although some of the filling stations like Shema and Sons Oil & Gas Ltd at Gudu District of FCT sell petrol at N168 per litre.
Only NNPC at Gudu and Oando filling stations at Gaduwa sold petrol at N162 per litre on Friday even as many motorists said they are no longer sure of the prices of petroleum products in Nigeria.
However, many attributed the sudden increase in the petroleum products to the recent statements of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari who has disclosed that the corporation can no longer pay fuel subsidy running into billions of naira to ensure that fuel does not cost much in Nigeria.
Industry observers believe that Kyari’s statements have provoked hoarding and panic buying of petroleum products in Nigeria, pointing out that except the Presidency makes categorical statement on the issue, the masses will continue to be exploited by oil marketers.