The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) in Ilorin has warned fuel station owners to desist from hoarding products and worsening the fuel scarcity situation in the state.
The State Commandant, NSCDC, Mr Makinde Ayinla, gave the warning on Wednesday at a news conference on the activities of the corps since the beginning of the scarcity.
Ayinla said the corps had made efforts to checkmate the practices of the fuel stations, who were selling fuel above the recommended pump price or hoarding it, and causing artificial scarcity.
He said: “This is in line with the directive of the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, that we should make sure that petroleum products are available to the people and at recommended pump prices.
“And also to checkmate the activities of the pipeline vandals, petroleum black marketers, those engaging in fuel adulteration and diversion, among others.
“That is why we have been going round the 16 local government areas in the state since last weekend in order to check the activities of erring filing stations.
“This includes those buying the products inside kegs and selling at exorbitant prices to the general public.”
He disclosed that the NSCDC task force led by the Head of Anti-Vandal Unit of the command, ACC Ayinde Yusuf, discovered that some fuel stations had the products but refused to sell.
Yusuf also said that some fuel stations were selling petrol as high as N250 per litre, against the recommended price of N165 per litre.
He ordered those that had the products but chose to hoard, to start selling, adding that the team will ensure that the fuel stations empty their underground tanks before they leave such stations.
The NSCDC boss also disclosed that some culprits were caught selling petrol above the recommended pump price and were made to revert to the approved price of N165 per litre.
Ayinla further said that the Head of Anti-Vandal Unit of the corps ordered owners and managers of the erring fuel stations to sign undertakings, not to engage in any sharp practices forthwith.
He said that some black marketers were arrested and the products they concealed inside kegs were confiscated.
Ayinla added that the task force had visited more than 50 fuel stations across the Ilorin metropolis.
He said that the NSCDC also went to other towns across the state, including Offa, Alapa, Bode Saadu and Omu Aran, on similar operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fuel scarcity had caused serious inconveniences for commuters and transporters alike, culminating in the increase of transport fares and some fuel stations selling petrol at between N250 and N300 per litre.