The Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), on Tuesday expressed concern at the scarcity of petrol and the rate at which it was being hawked by the roadside in the state.
The lawmakers spoke following a motion moved by Mr. Lanre Ogunyemi, ACN-Ojo II, titled “Indiscriminate Increase in Petroleum Prices by Independent Petroleum Marketers and Hawking of Petroleum Products” at the plenary session.
Ogunyemi said Nigerians, in spite of the country’s position in terms of daily petroleum output, had continued to undergo untold hardship and humiliation due to frequent scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
He noted that the country was one of the major producers of crude oil in the world and by extension one of the most affluent in Africa,
“A lot of Nigerians in time past, who engaged in scooping, adulteration or hawking of petroleum products in kegs, have lost their lives and property in series of wild explosions,” he said.
He described the attitude of some petroleum marketers, who engaged in hoarding, adulteration and arbitrary increase of the pump price of petroleum products because of the scarcity as worrisome.
Mr. Gbolahan Yishawu ACN-Eti-Osa II, noted that vandalism of pipelines at Arepo area of Ogun State was the cause of the scarcity being experienced throughout Lagos State.
Yishawu said that the refusal of the Federal Government to pay subsidy claims of marketers was also fuelling the scarcity.
He said that the refusal was a systematic way to increase the pump price of the product very soon.
Mr. Yinka Ogundimu (ACN-Agege II), in his contribution, said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had no business in the production of petroleum products.
Ogundimu said the NNPC should serve only as a regulatory body that would check the excesses of private investors.
“If private investors are not allowed to come into oil production in the country, then I can say that we are postponing the evil days,” he said.
NAN reports that the House resolved to call on the State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in conjunction with the Ministry of Information and Strategy, to embark on public awareness programmes on the inherent dangers of buying and hawking of fuel.