No Compliance With New Pump Price In Abia
IN Abia State, the reduction of the pump price of petrol from N97 to N87 as announced to apply with “immediate effect” is yet to take full effect in Abia State because of non-compliance to the directive by majority of petroleum marketers and dealers.
Their major reason is that government would have given them notice before introducing the reduced price or compensate them for the loss they would sustain in selling their old stock at the new price from which they would lose N10 per litre.
To many, this argument or reason would not stand because when there were increases in the pump price, the same dealers quickly sold at the increased price without complaints.
To evade possible sanctions for not complying with the new price, the dealers cite non-adjustment of the fuel dispensers, arguing that doing so is not their direct function, but that of an external body.
There were reports that some dealers pretend to be selling at the reduced price while they found a way to display fake new price metre readers.
Some posed not to have stock to sell to desperate buyers or in containers.
In Umuahia, the state capital, only NNPC Mega Station along Okigwe-Umuahia Expressway has adjusted its pump metres to the new rate. NNPC State Sales Representative for the state, Mr. Ene Nnabuike Samuel, stated that a monitoring team would immediately enforce compliance.
While some members of the public embraced the new price with the belief that the new price will affect the price of goods and services positively, some others have sympathised with the dealers and urged the federal government to find a way to help them absorb some the loses they may incur.
Mr. Ken Gaaniru, who is an Umuahia-based industrial welder and producer of iron gates, said the reduced price is not substantial.
According to him, the new price should extend to diesel, as some people use diesel to power their generators and vehicles.
“The reduced price does not impact on production because it affects only petrol. Why did government single out petrol, leaving out diesel?” he asked.
A transporter, Mr. Kalu Kalu, told The Guardian that he would not reduce his fares until he begins to buy petrol at the new N87 price.
A labour leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity welcomed the new price, but added that until there is total compliance, the new price will hardly impact positively on the economy. “Government has to do something in this regard,” he said.
Commenting on the impact of reduction on the prices of goods, Mr. Gab Iron, a secondary school teacher, said that it was not enough for government to reduce petrol price. “The value of the dollar has sky-rocketed, making mockery of the value of the naira. Hence, under this scenario, prices may rather rise and not fall.”
Abia State Petroleum and Solid Minerals Commissioner, Chief Okwubunka Don Ubani, appealed to dealers to comply with the new price and not wait to be coerced to do so, stressing that the reduction in price is part of government’s efforts to cushion the effect of economic hardship on the populace.