Edo State Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Ethan Uzamere, has denied insinuations making the round that his ministry is handicapped to deal with the issue of escalating cost of petroleum products in the state because some powerful individuals are involved in the shady deals.
Addressing a media parley in his office, the Commissioner said: “I was not bashed. I am not being held back. You have to understand sometimes you need to take a systematic solution to issues. What we are doing is monitoring the supply chain of the product.
“We are monitoring the sales of the product. The right for monitoring petroleum products is on the federal government agencies. As a state we are partnering the federal government agencies to check the situation.”
He disclosed that “as a state we are what we’re trying to do is to see how we can help the marketers in Edo State get more products to be available for the masses in the state.”
Uzamere asserted that his ministry has been monitoring the sales of the product, adding: “we also just decided to assist the filling stations for security because a lot of the marketers have been complaining that they don’t feel secured selling product in the filling stations.”
Buttressing the Commissioners pronouncement, Chairman of the Major Marketers/Dealers Association in Edo State, Sir Tony Aghedo said: “It is most unfortunate we have to go through what we’re going through now. In my over 25 years of being a dealer I have never had it so rough like this. We have never had fuel sold for N500 or N600 a litre.
“When you say what’s the reason (for the escalating price), pure and simple short supply of product. Almost every fuel we use in Benin comes from Lagos. And in the last three weeks, nothing, virtually, has come.
“Last week, few trucks came that one compartment was shared round to each station. So, when you see a truck drives into station is not discharging the whole content, just one to be shared to three dealers. When they sell for three hours and they say there is none again don’t start doubting.
“What I had to do in my own station is to say ‘don’t give more than 5,000 litres so that we go round as many people as we can and sell at the normal price of N190 per litre approved by the federal government.”
Sir Aghedo supported the setting up of the Ministry’s monitoring team “to know what came, where it is going to and it would be so publicised by the Ministry so that we will know where it is and go there and monitor.”
In his own submission, Alhaji Abdulhamid Baba-Saliu, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN) in Benin, stated: “As we have always said the problem has to do with short supply. The product is not enough. As at today, it is only NNPC that imports products and what they’re importing is not enough to go round.
“They have promised to deregulate so that every person can get to buy and sell the same way diesel, kerosine, cooking gas, lubricant are going.”
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