The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is set to put an end to the price increase of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the usual N145 to N160 and above in Yenagoa the capital city of Bayelsa State.
Residents of the state have been forced to buy fuel at the increased rate being sold by most filling stations in the city since last week.
In protecting the interest of citizens of the country, the DPR held a meeting with major marketers of petroleum in the state to address the troubling event on Tuesday. At the end of the meeting, Head of Operations DPR, Ibinabo Jack, stated that the sudden increase in the pump price was unwarranted, and did not have the backing of any regulatory agency. Hence, it would be kicked against sternly.
Whenever there's a subtle sign of fuel scarcity, dealers raise fuel price, sometimes without approval from authorities
Speaking to Journalists who were present at the meeting, Ibinabo stated that:
“I personally went round and discovered that all the filling stations were selling above the pump price. They were selling at the rate of N160 naira for PMS. We frown at that and condemn it.
"The sudden rise in pump price is not advised and not welcome by DPR. DPR has not noticed any form of price increase and there is no directive for fuel pump increase; the pump price still remains N145 per liter.
"From now, after this briefing with the marketers, the DPR will not hesitate to impose stringent penalties upon anyone found selling above the pump price. PMS at the depot as of the beginning of the week still remains N133, and so we are saying that marketers have no reason to say they have written to the authorities or that they were granted by someone to sell above the pump price approved by the Petroleum Products Regulatory Agency (PPRA)."
In their defense, Erefemota Peters, Bayelsa state Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the increase at depots gave rise to the increase at various filling stations. According to him, marketers sourced for products at above N142 at the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries. Hence, they could not sell at the standard government price.