It said oil marketers created artificial scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit in order to force the Federal Government to reintroduce the already abolished fuel subsidy regime.
This came as our correspondent gathered that the queues for petrol by motorists in various filling stations in Abuja, Lagos and Nasarawa reduced significantly on Sunday, as many outlets dispensed the commodity.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, the National Coordinator, CSDI, Abolore Bakare, argued that the fuel scarcity was the handiwork of those running the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The motive of the marketers, Bakare alleged, was to foist their interest on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation through the subsidy regime and price increase.
He further alleged that oil marketers had arrived at a proposed pump price of N171.05k, which was rejected by the NNPC, adding that this led to clandestine activities that resulted in fuel scarcity.
Bakare said, “We have it on good authority that oil marketers proposed an increase in the pump price of petrol to N171.05k, which the NNPC declined. That was why they decided to create artificial scarcity. It is glaring to all Nigerians that the downstream industry players have made up their minds to sabotage the effort of government. That is why they are hoarding fuel at filling stations across the country.
“We are appalled that when officials of the NNPC, PPPRA (Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency) and the Minister of State for Petroleum (Ibe Kachikwu) were on supervisory tour of filling stations, the saboteurs stuck to their guns.”
The group urged the Federal Government and the NNPC not to succumb to the demand of oil marketers.
The group commended the Senate Committee on Oil and Gas (Downstream) for taking steps to curtail dangerous antics of oil marketers.
The NNPC had insisted on Saturday that oil marketers were responsible for the scarcity of petrol, as its Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said, “We have maintained our position that this scarcity is self-inflicted by marketers.”