By Adewale Sanyaolu
As the current petrol scarcity bites harder, a latest strategy by filling stations at making the fuel available to some class of motorists at the expense of others has been uncovered.
Daily Sun investigation revealed that the strategy to cut off a category of motorists from having access to the product was more rampant in Lagos Island, Victoria Island,Ikoyi and Lekki axis, housing over 80 per cent of corporate headquarters of banks, oil companies and insurance firms.
Under the latest initiative introduced by petroleum marketers to ration products, corporate clients were given priority ahead of other categories of motorists.
The corporate clients include banks, oil companies, insurance firms and top-rated schools, especially those with huge fleet of buses.
A source familiar with the operations of the filling stations explained that most of the customers in this ‘privileged’ category were mostly the ones on retainership with the retail outlets.
“Though some of the firms enjoying this service have fuel dump within their headquarters or elsewhere, but when scarcity begins to show signs of not abating, they result to patronizing retail outlets where they have agreements. And in some cases, some firms that are not big enough don’t have fuel dumps as well,’’ he disclosed.
A visit to some of the retail outlets alleged to be notorious for this anomaly revealed a pathetic situation to which motorists are subjected as more attention is usually given to this privileged class to the detriment of other categories of motorists.
The privileged classes were given preferential treatment as they were made to use different exit and entry gate designed for such purpose
The development led to congestion, hampering free flow of traffic as some adamant motorists, who were convinced that some of the filling stations had fuel, refused to vacate the queue.
Indeed, an angry cab driver, who identified himself as Kazeem Adeniji, condemned the attitude of some retail outlets, especially the ones on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, alleging that they prefer to sell products to their corporate friends, thus subjecting other classes of customers to untold hardship.
Meanwhile, petrol scarcity across the metropolis entered its third day yesterday with fewer filling stations dispensing the product.
Outside Lagos,the situation was the same as virtually all the filling stations from Lagos to Ife were out of stock except the NNPC retail outlet close to Oduduwa University in Ile Ife,Osun State,which sold a litre of petrol for N120.
Most of the major marketers’ retail outlets visited were seen comply with the government approved retail pump price of N86.50k, while independent marketers in flagrant disobedience to the directive sold the product between N100 and N120.
Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr.Ibe Kachikwu, had directed the full activation of an Intra-Ministerial Joint Monitoring Task Force made up of officials of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA) and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company ( PPMC), to ensure and enforce compliance to laid down rules and regulations governing the supply and distribution of petroleum products.