The Ekiti State Government, on Saturday warned owners and operators of filling stations in the state to desist from hoarding of petroleum products or face the consequences.
The government’s warning was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olayinka Oyebode and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado Ekiti.
Oyebode said that such an act was fast creating artificial fuel scarcity in the state.
He noted that hoarding of petroleum products was an act of economic sabotage, which created unnecessary hardship for the people and cripples businesses.
Oyebode said that monitoring teams had been despatched to go round filling stations in the state and ensure that no filling station hoard fuel at the detriment of the people.
“Any filling station caught hoarding fuel will receive heavy sanction,’’ he said.
According to him, the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has urged the citizens of the state not to panic but go about their normal business activities peacefully and responsibly.
NAN reports that fuel scarcity became noticeable in Ado Ekiti, the state capital and other major towns like Ikere, Ijero, Ikole, Aramoko and Ifaki Ekiti among others since Thursday.
The development had led to the return of long queues in few filling stations that were dispensing the products, while many of them had locked their gates.
A NAN correspondent who visited some filling stations, reports that the development had prompted residents and vehicle owners to engage in panic-buying by going about with jerry cans to buy fuel while vehicle owners queue long distances.