The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said immediate deregulation of the downstream oil sector will ease the fuel crisis across the nation and sufferings of Nigerians.The DPR Port Harcourt Zonal Operations Controller, Dr. Ibani Frank-Briggs, who stated this yesterday during a surveillance visit to about 12 filling stations in Port Harcourt where residents were going through hellish experience just to buy fuel at N145 per litre, said since the telecommunications industry was deregulated, the usual difficulties and pains experienced in the sector are no longer there.
He disclosed that at least 40,000 trucks of petrol were expected in Rivers State but noted that the state gets less than the figure.
Meanwhile, some petroleum marketers and residents have berated the Federal Government on what they described as insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians by failing to fulfill its promise to deregulate the downstream oil sector.
One of the marketers and a dealer with Forte Oil at Station Road, Port Harcourt, Mr. Diran Fasuyi-Enang, said Nigerians were tired of promises to rehabilitate the old refineries and building of new ones by the Federal Government.
He said that total deregulation was the only solution to end the perennial fuel crisis across the nation.
Another marketer with Eternal Oil, Olayinka Adesanya, said if the energy sector functions appropriately, individuals would not be suffering to buy fuel.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to fix the energy sector and deregulate the downstream sector.
Manager of a filling station, Tonye Barkasin, who also backed the deregulation move, requested for increased supply of the product.
He said the station gets 40,000 litres against the 80,000 to 120,000 litres it needed per day to enable it meet consumers’ demand.
Also, a resident, Mrs. Justina Egbi, who said that she had been on queue for four hours, described the fuel situation as terrible, insisting that the Federal Government should ensure that the refineries work and as well put up modular refineries to end the fuel crisis.