The Federal Government on Wednesday said marketers who engage in racketeering activities are responsible for the rising cost and scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit in parts of the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, revealed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Sylva said although the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited has ensured the supply of fuel nationwide, challenges persist at distribution points.
He explained that the ministry had issued directives to end racketeering which has led to soaring fuel prices. But those directives have fallen on deaf ears, even as supply bottlenecks persist.
Therefore, Sylva, again, directed the regulatory agency NMDPRA to sanction erring filling stations.
In January 2023, the FG officially increased the price of petrol to N185 per litre, from N170 per litre.
However, petrol is being sold for as high as N500 per liter in some states.
The petroleum minister, who insisted that PMS is now available nationwide, blamed the scarcity on factors outside the control of his Ministry.
However, he said the distribution challenge would not hinder the February 25 and March 11 election.
Sylva said the NNPCL has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission that petroleum products would be available for the exercise.
Meanwhile, the council approved N117bn for the construction of the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and Research Center, Bayelsa State.
Awarded to MSSRS Julius Berger Plc, it is expected to be completed in 30 months.
This comes six decades after oil was discovered in commercial quantities in the oil-rich region.