The Cross River State government has ordered all fuel stations in the state currently hoarding and selling petrol at exorbitant prices to immediately revert to its official price of N165 per litre.
In the last three weeks, there has been fuel scarcity in parts of the state due to hoarding and trans-border sale in Cameroon.
The government warned that any station or marketer that refuse risk attendant sanctions, including seal up.
This was contained in a statement signed by the special adviser to the state governor on petroleum monitoring and chairman of joint task force on petroleum, Peter Okim Abang.
He said marketers and fuelling stations taking advantage of Cross Riverians are causing the government and the people more harm than good.
He said despite warnings from the Federal Government and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), tank farms and filling stations operating in the state have refused to adhere.
He noted with regrets that some are even hoarding petroleum products thereby causing artificial scarcity.
“This situation has caused untold hardship on Cross Riverians and the government cannot continue to watch as they continue to exploit the people.
“The Task Force On Petroleum Monitoring has directives from the Governor to seal all filling stations and tank farms that are selling above government price and those that are hoarding petroleum products but prefer to sell to black marketers”, he said.
Most petrol stations in the state are selling the product at N250 per litre and above, while black marketers sell at N300 per litre.
Meanwhile, there are reports that many big time fuel dealers in parts of Bakassi LGA of the state have been buying fuel either from local stations or depots for sale in Cameroon.
Sources in Bakassi spoken to said they would convey to the boundary points where the product is measured into smaller containers.
The containers are then transported in wooden canoes or engine boats to Cameroonian maritime boundaries where their waiting customers offload them at specified sums.
A resident of Ikang in Bakassi, Edem Ene told reporters that the business has been on for a long time before the present fuel scarcity in the state.
“Sometimes they will buy from petrol stations in Bakassi or in Calabar and take it to Cameroon.
“I think this also accounts for the acute scarcity of fuel in Bakassi where the pump price goes for N250 or N300 as against official price of N165″, he said.
He said the black market price of the product is much higher, and impatient motorists, especially commercial drivers plying the local routes patronise it and inflate transport fares from commuters.