The price of the domestic cooking fuel, kerosene has shot up again with the price of a litre of the commodity going for as high as N180. Apart from the high price, the commodity is also scarce.

P.M.NEWS investigations in some filling stations and kerosene retail outlets in Lagos and Sango, outskirts of Ogun State today revealed that the product is hard to come by and where it is available, the price has shot through the roof.

•Kerosene consumers and retailers desperately await arrival of the product in a filling station in Lagos.

Managers of some filling stations, including Oando, Mobil, Texaco, Conoil and African Petroleum located at Onipanu, Palmgrove and Fola Agoro disclosed that they have not received supply of the commodity in the last three months. They blamed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC for not supplying them the commodity.

The manager of Mobil Filling Station at Onipanu who identified himself as Wasiu said his station has not been able to buy kerosene from the NNPC depot in Apapa in the past three months.

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“Our truck has been at the Apapa depot in the past three months and no supply of kerosene. The few ones you see being sold are bought from the black market at an exorbitant price. That is why it is passed to the consumer at a higher price,” Wasiu told P.M.NEWS.

Investigations also revealed that a gallon of kerosene is sold for N750 in some of the retailers’ outlets dispensing the scarce commodity in the area. A bottle of beer is being sold for N150.

At Sango and Ijoko areas of Ogun State, the commodity is hard to come by and where it is being sold, buyers are made to pay N180 for a litre while a gallon containing four litres of the commodity is sold for N750.

Some housewives who spoke with P.M.NEWS on the high price of the commodity said they have resorted to the use of firewood  for cooking. A food vendor at Sango who gave her name as Mama Wale said she cannot afford to buy kerosene at the current exorbitant price.

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“How much am I making from my food joint that I will now buy a gallon of kerosene for N750. The price will take all my gains. That is why I am now using firewood, pending when the price will come down,” she told P.M.NEWS.

Efforts to get an official reaction from the spokesman of the NNPC, Dr. Livy Ajuonuma on the price hike proved abortive but the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG has blamed the Federal Government for the current kerosene scarcity in the country.

Lagos Zonal Secretary, NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo lamented the scarcity of the product and described it as an indirect removal of fuel subsidy and a ploy by the government to create artificial scarcity of the product.

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“Kerosene is very scarce at the moment. The depots are not even loading and the NNPC is not looking at the direction of kerosene scarcity now,” he said.

Korodo stated that even when labour had rejected the plan by the government to remove fuel subsidy as from January next year, the Federal Government is bent on doing so.

He added that the quantity of kerosene being imported at the moment was very low. ”It could  be a ploy by the government to cause artificial scarcity so that it would be able to implement its policy of fuel subsidy removal,” he stated.

— Kazeem Ugbodaga & Paul Sanusi