Two days to Christmas and the current lingering fuel scarcity has gone from bad to worse.

As usual no one or group is ready to take blame for the crisis that has turned most Nigerians to desperados.

The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, is mainly because of its hoarding and diversion by oil marketers who are pushing for an increase in the price of the commodity, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has said.

It specifically stated that dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, as well as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria were all involved in the hoarding and diversion of the product, a development that further worsened the scarcity of the product across the country on Friday.

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The National President, PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson, stated that it was wrong to attribute the scarcity being witnessed in most parts of the country to the recent threat by the association to embark on a strike.

He argued that petrol scarcity was mainly because of the push by oil marketers for an increase in the pump price of the commodity, but stressed that the association would not support such a move.

He said, “And let me say it here that the oil marketers are complaining, they’ve been looking for ways to increase fuel price. But the labour unions, Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and PENGASSAN are the ones who still fight and say to the marketers that they can’t do that. All of the marketers, IPMAN, DAPPMA, MOMAN, etc, have been agitating for petrol price increase.

“They give you so many reasons, they say dollar is not accessible, they say this, they say that, but we tell them ‘no’, you can’t do that. And so subtle hoarding begins to take place, they start looking for ways to force the government to increase price. That is the game.”

Stressing that PENGASSAN had nothing to do with the fuel scarcity, Johnson said, “Like I told you earlier, left to the marketers, PMS will be selling at N500 per litre because they are there to make profits.

“They say they don’t have access to crude oil, they lack access to dollars and that it is only the NNPC that is importing. We said go and import, but they said if they must do that, fuel should be increased to N170 per litre.”

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