By Nosa Eresoyen, Asaba
Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Edo and Delta State yesterday staged a peaceful protest over alleged increment in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Management of Rainoil Depot, Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.
They called on the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as well as the federal government to wade into the issue and sanction defaulting depot owners.
The activities of the angry protesters however the workings at the private depot to a halt: a source of succor to marketers in the region since the indigenous refineries went epileptics.
The protesters barricaded the entrance of the fuel depot, chanting solidarity songs and preventing Rainoil owned tankers from loading.
They alleged that Rainoil has refused to supply fuel to them unless they pay a price of N105.00 as against the stipulated N84.50 per litre by the federal government, saying that the product be supplied to them at N95.00 which the company has made them pay before adding another N10.00 extra to the product.
Spokesmen for the protesters, Mr. Alabi Muyi and Mr. Joseph Okolie, while speaking to newsmen, lamented the hardships the independent marketers and tanker drivers are undergoing as a result of the outrageous increase of petroleum products by depot owners.
Mr. Muyi said: “For the past three weeks, we’ve been paying into Rainoil’s account for PMS. The initial money we paid was N84.50k after which they said we should pay additional N11.00 which we complied with because fuel was not available. After paying the N11 yesterday, they said they could not programme as they have left over on ground. And we left, but on getting here this morning, they said we should go and pay additional N10.00 making N21.00. We are all saying no. our load should be given to us for the N11.00 we have paid.