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By NBF News
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The Kogi House of Assembly has set up a four-man ad hoc committee to monitor the implementation of the N97 per litre pump price of petrol with an appeal to marketers to open for business. The House constituted the committee at its plenary on Wednesday following the adoption of a motion on the issue of closed filling stations moved by Mr Friday Sani, representing Igalamela constituency.

Sani told the House that most filling stations in Lokoja, with the exception of NNPC mega stations, had remained shut since the announcement of the reduction of the pump price from N141 to N97.

He noted that it did not take the filling stations up to six hours to adjust their metres to N141 when the Federal Government announced the removal of fuel subsidy on January 1. He expressed regret that the marketers had failed to implement the new price three days after the announcement.

The Majority Leader of the House, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa, seconded the motion, pointing out that the fuel situation outside the state capital was precarious. He called for urgent intervention. Speaker Abdullahi Bello said that filling stations were dispensing a litre of petrol for between N200 and N250 in Kogi East Senatorial District.

The committee to be headed by Mr Haruna Musa, member representing Idah constituency, has the mandateĀ  to go round filling stations and appeal to the marketers to sell the product at N97 per litre to ease the hardship experienced by the people.

Meanwhile, the Department of Petroleum Resources in Kogi has also called on independent marketers in the state to stop hoarding petrol and sell at the new price. Mr Olukayode George, the state Controller of Operations, told newsmen on Wednesday in Lokoja that the department would soon clamp down on defaulting filling stations.

The controller, who led an inspection team to filling stations, said the department had received complaints from across the state that most marketers had refused to sell the product.

'We condemn any attempt by anybody to institute illegality, and we will accordingly deal with anybody or group of persons that defy government order on the new pump price.'

Commuters in the state faced difficulty moving around because of the artificial scarcity created by the marketers after the introduction of the new price.