Edo State Government has set up a task force to regulate fuel scarcity, hoarding, and a hike in the price of fuel or Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the state.
The task force which was set up to regulate the product, on Tuesday, inspected fuel stations in the Benin Metropolis to guard against hoarding, as well as address the issue of artificial scarcity and arbitrary hikes in prices.
Speaking to newsmen during a routine inspection, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Ferguson Enabulele said the state government will carry out further engagements with relevant authorities on the matter.
Enabulele said: “We discovered under-dispensing in some of these stations, over pricing which cannot be fully justified as some are saying the sector has been fully deregulated but there is no formal letter from the state government concerning that. So, we still stand with the old prices of these products.
“It’s a bit difficult to reach a specific position on this issue now (pricing). We will hold further conversations with the DPR Office in the State and thereafter, inform the state governor of our own findings.
“We will invite owners of filling stations to engage with them also. It is when we have that information that we will now know what to do because as we stand, there is no formal authority deregulating that sector but as against what most of these petrol stations are acting on – as if the sector has been fully deregulated and they have control over their pricing.
“We empathize with our people and assure them that the government is taking all necessary steps to ensure that they get these products at affordable prices.
“I want to appeal to everyone to be patient as there is going to be more engagement with the DPR tomorrow after which we will come out with an authoritative position on this issue.”