By Mosunmola Ayobami and Deborah Oladejo
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and his Osun State counterpart, Ademola Adeleke have warned of severe consequences for any marketer caught hoarding petroleum products.
This warning came against the backdrop of current queues across the country as marketers shut their stations to the public with only few dispensing fuel.
In a statement issued by the Government House in Ilorin on Tuesday, AbdulRazaq cautioned oil marketers to avoid imposing needless hardship on the citizens through creation of artificial fuel scarcity in the state and beyond.
“The governor is seriously concerned about reports of sudden fuel scarcity in different parts of the state. This is totally uncalled for. He asks fuel marketers to immediately discharge fuel to the public under the normal pricing system since they had bought what they currently have at subsidised rates.
“Creating artificial scarcity amounts to intentional misrepresentation of the statement of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the question of fuel subsidy. The people should not be made to undergo any hardship.
“The governor urges the marketers to desist from anything that qualifies as economic sabotage of the people. Hoarding fuel bought at subsidised price and creating panic in the state is opportunistic and will not be condoned. “His Excellency the Deputy Governor Mr. Kayode Alabi will be leading a task force to ensure that no fuel marketer causes undue hardship to the citizens in Kwara State.
“Fuel stations are to note that the Task Force will dip into their pits. Any filling stations found to be hoarding fuel will have their Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) revoked, among other penalties,” the statement said.
In Osun State, long queues have returned to filling stations following the pronouncement of fuel subsidy removal by President Tinubu on Monday.
Our correspondent observed that many filling stations in Osogbo metropolis, stopped selling fuel to motorists immediately after Tinubu’s speech on petrol subsidy removal.
Few filling stations that are selling to motorists had long queues.
This, has subsequently led to increase in transport fares as commercial bus drivers said they now buy petrol as N300 per litre.
The state government has intervened, warning that any petroleum marketer caught hoarding fuel as a result of the pronouncement of the President will be dealt with decisively.
The government’s warning was contained in a statement by spokesperson to the governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Osun State government has been drawn to the deliberate hoarding of PMS by fuel dealers within the state as a result of the statement from the inaugural speech of the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy, thereby causing unnecessary hardship for the people in the state.
“This deliberate action is not only inhumane but unpatriotic and will not be allowed by the government. To this end, the Special Monitoring Team on fuel scarcity set up by Governor Ademola Adeleke headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage.
“As from today, 30th May 2023, the Committee shall begin special monitoring of all the filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.
“Any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity shall be sealed off and operators prosecuted for crime of economic sabotage.”