Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prince Bassey Otu, has inaugurated a 12-man Joint Taskforce with the mandate to regulate petroleum products pump price in the state in accordance with the approved rates.
The Governor’s action is coming on the hills of the recent hike in pump price following President Bola Tinubu’s planned removal of subsidy on petrol as contained in his inaugural speech.
Inaugurating the team in Calabar, Thursday, Governor Otu lamented the untold hardship the people are facing occasioned by the fuel hike and urged the task team to immediately swing into action to normalize the situation.
The Governor urged them to discharge their duties without fear or favour by clamping down on any erring marketer who fails to adhere to gvernment’s directives.
“We have a problem in our land and anything that affects our people, affects all of us, we discovered a few days ago that Mr. President made a comment about withdrawal of subsidy and immediately he did that, some petrol dealers hiked their prices immediately to the detriment of the common man.
“So there’s no reason to hike price of petroleum products because in actual sense all the products on the ground have already been subsidized, including the premium motor spirit. The ones in the fueling stations an the tank farms”, the Governor said.
According to the Cross River state Governor, “the removal of subsidy regime will take effect sometime in July and there’s a transition period which of course the federal government knows what to do within the period.
“It is wrong for dealers to immediately hike the prices of this product because this is going to bring hardship to our people both in terms of mobility, movement of foodstuff and other essentials.
“As we speak, the prices of foodstuff in the market have gone up astronomically.
“I trust your capacity hence your appointment. I want you to do your job without any fear or favour. Don’t fail to seal up any station that does comply with the regulated prime regime or brings arbitrary in terms of this product.
“I hereby empower you to go and do your work fervently in all fairness to the good people of Cross River State including her peaceful residents as well those in transit”
In his response, the Chairman of the Special Joint taskforce on petroleum monitoring, Hon. Peter Okim expressed gratitude to Governor Otu for the opportunity to serve and promised that he and his team will discharge their duties deligently.
He noted with satisfaction the composition of the Committee which is drawn from the stakeholders in Oil and Gas, assuring that they were the best crop and will deliver.