The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has decried the use of firewood, sawdust and charcoal for cooking by Nigerians in the wake of scarcity and adulteration of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
Mr. Dogara, who was speaking at an investigative hearing organised by the House Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, said the use of these alternatives was degrading the environment and endangering lives.
He called for sanctions against those involved in illegal “diversion” of petroleum products.
He was referring to the fire incident at Suleja depot and the disappearance of N11 billion worth of petroleum products belonging to NNPC at Capital Oil farm tank in Lagos State.
“A common domestic product for the average Nigerian has become a scarce commodity and even when made available, remains unaffordable for the majority of the people of the lower class who largely depend on it.
“It is also very disheartening the current high incidence of kerosene explosions in various parts of the country which resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
These might be related to the non-availability and non-affordability of the product which might have caused its adulteration with other available products making it highly inflammable as a means of maximizing profits,’’ the speaker said.
Mr. Dogara urged the committee to expand its scope of investigation into the possible consequence of adulterating Automotive Turbine Kerosene (ATK) as sometimes done to DPK, because of their similarity, which could resolve into unsafe situation for the Aviation Industry and the entire nation.
He added that the committee was expected to determine and ensure that mechanisms are put in place to make DPK available and affordable by coming up with a framework on kerosene to alleviate the problem being faced by the masses.
Meanwhile, some consumers have accused fuel attendants in filling stations of hoarding the products.
Steven Isaac, a “black marketer” explained to PREMIUM TIMES that the fuel attendants were deliberately hoarding the products to create artificial scarcity and rake in profit. He said that a few of the black marketers also found it hard getting the product.
A fuel attendant at the NNPC Mega Station in Nyanya, who wanted his identity protected denied the allegation saying that they still sell at the normal price and only hold on to the products when ‘there’s an order from the management.’