Anambra State Government has issued a warning to the leadership of the Petroleum Dealers of Nigeria (PEDAN), Anambra State Chapter, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Enugu Depot to guard against the arbitrary and indiscriminate hike of fuel pump price in the state.
The State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Barrister Anthony Ifeanya handed down the warning in his office at Chief Jerome Udoji Secretariat Awka, while interacting with the leaderships of the two associations who were in his office on his invitation.
According to the Commissioner, the essence of the meeting was to chart a new course for the holistic development of the Ministry and Anambra state as well.
Barrister Ifeanya who described the fuel station owners in the state and their allied Petroleum Dealers, as major stakeholders of the Ministry, affirmed that he had been interacting cordially with them on better ways to move the Ministry forward in the overall interest of the state by offering Anambra people the best services required of them.
The Petroleum Commissioner who warned the leadership of the two associations in the state that he would not want what is currently happening in Lagos State where the prices of the Petroleum products have been exponentially hiked to the rooftop to repeat itself in Anambra state, stressed that the indiscriminate increase in the prices of Petroleum products would negatively affect the transport system and the economy.
“I encourage you to maintain the approved fuel pump price of one hundred and sixty-five naira per litter and avoid using the opportunity of what is happening elsewhere to exploit the poor masses.
“I want to also warn the Petroleum Dealers about the inherent dangers of adulterating petroleum products which some of them are doing for huge profit maximization.
“I wish to remind you that such dangerous practice has killed many and destroyed properties and the unfortunate thing is that even the families and relatives of those perpetrating this evil can be caught up with the same evil.
“So it is important that we steer clear of such practice,” he warned.
According to the Commissioner, his Ministry is waiting for the approval of the state governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, to constitute committees on surveillance for monitoring the activities of the Petroleum Dealers in the state.
This he said, will checkmate the issue of importation of adulterated Petroleum products into the state by some bad eggs in the sector as well as regulate the activities of black petroleum marketers in the state.
He further expressed hope that the two groups would harken to his plea, having promised him that they would be cautious by putting human face in their dealings in the state.
In their separate remarks, the State Chairman of PEDAN, Chief Obi Okafor, and the Chairman, IPMAN Enugu Depot, Chief Chinedu Anyaso attributed the recent slight hike in fuel price in the country and Anambra state in particular to the non-availability of petroleum products at the NNPC depot.
They said they have not been sourcing the Petroleum products from NNPC for now due to scarcity of the products, adding that they now source the products from private Petroleum depots in Lagos, Calabar, and Port-Harcourt at one hundred and fourth eight naira seventeen kobo, N148.17 per litter or even more, excluding the cost of transportation, hiring of truck and loading among others.
They maintained that with the slight increase in the purchase of fuel at one hundred and seventy-five naira or more in some quarters of the country, there would be also a slight increase in the fuel pump price in the state, wondering how they would buy at an exorbitant rate only to come down and start selling below the rate they bought from the sellers.
“All we can assure you is that we will plead with our members to endeavor to do their business with a human face and not increase the prices indiscriminately,” they assured.