In a bid to clear its name over recent allegations of extortion, the Nigeria National Petroleum Product Limited (NNPCL) retail station in the Asolo area of Ikorodu, Lagos, has insisted that it doesn’t charge any extra fee before selling fuel to members of the public, amid the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country.
Following a report by FIJ, the management of the fuel station recently fired some attendants who were exposed for collecting bribes from customers.
The expose had also led to the station being sanctioned by the top management of the NNPCL, before it was cleared to recommence operations.
Pertubed by another report of alleged extortion perpetrated by its staffers, the company has denied involvement in such, saying no extra fee is attached to its selling pump price of N184 per litre.
A public notice from the company dated February 11, 2023, reads in part: “To our valued customers, kindly pay attention to the price on the pump. Only pay for what you buy. No extra fee attached.”
When our reporter visited the station around 12pm on Sunday, different copies of the public notice could be seen pasted on the walls and other strategic locations in the premises.
It was also observed that there was hardly a queue and fuel was being sold to every customer.
Our reporter spoke to some residents and customers over the allegations that attendants charge multiple fees before selling fuel.
Mr. Busayo Kadiri, a resident, said the claims were untrue.
“There is nothing of such. We are even grateful to have a fuel station like this in our vicinity. As you can see, there is sanity around here and that’s why most people in this area prefer to come here. I just bought fuel and no one asked for any extra money,” he said.
Mr. Lekan Okunola, a cab driver, said the fuel station has always sold at the official pump price since he started patronising it.
He said, “There are other stations around this area that sell as high as N350 per litre. But this isn’t the situation here. The price has always been the official one”.
A tricyle driver, who asked not to be named, also said no charge was demanded from him or his counterparts.
“They didn’t collect anything from us. Despite the fact that nearly all the fuel stations around have hiked their price, this one is different. They are also well-organised and the attendants attend to everyone without discrimination or demanding for bribe,” he told our reporter in Yoruba.
Also speaking, the manager of the fuel station, Mr. Julius Ozuah accused their competitors for spreading false reports around.
“We only sell at regulated prices, and that’s what makes us different from other fuel stations in this area. But since when our competitors saw that they are no longer making sales like they used to because of their inflated prices, they have been hellbent on disparaging our reputation. But on our part, we won’t relent. We also urge our customers to report any foul play and we will take the appropriate actions,” he said.