SOME governors have warned filling stations against hoarding petrol, following queues that resurfaced across the country after President Bola Tinubu announced a decision to remove fuel subsidy.
Kwara State governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in a statement on Tuesday, May 30, threatened to revoke the Certificates of Occupancy of fuel stations found hoarding petrol.
“The Governor urges the marketers to desist from anything that qualifies as economic sabotage of the people. Hoarding fuel bought at subsidised prices 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 revoked, among other penalties,” the statement read.
He warned marketers to immediately supply fuel to the public at standard rates and avoid creating challenging conditions for residents.
Similarly, in a statement on Tuesday, Osun State governor Ademola Adeleke said the deliberate creation of artificial scarcity by dealers would not be tolerated, as fuel stations found hoarding petrol will be sealed off and operators prosecuted.
“To this end, the Special Monitoring Team on fuel scarcity set up by His Excellency, Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke, headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage,” the statement read.
In Ekiti, the state governor Biodun Oyebanji urged marketers to await directives on the implementation of the subsidy removal. He also threatened to sanction operators who are creating artificial scarcity.
Oyebanji also invited executives of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to a meeting in his office by 4:00 pm on Tuesday.
While delivering his inauguration speech after his swearing-in as Nigeria’s President on Monday, May 29, Tinubu said the country could no longer subsidise fuel prices due to lean resources.
“Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” Tinubu stated.
Although this is not the first attempt to remove or reduce subsidy in Nigeria, Tinubu’s declaration on his first day as President sent residents into panic-buying, as many fuel operators across the country stopped operations.
In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stations that remained open had fuel queues stretching for hundreds of metres away from the pumps, resulting in traffic congestion and frustrating motorists.