The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that it would sanction depot owners and major marketers who engaged in selling petrol and kerosene above official price.
DPR gave the warning in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos following a meeting it held with all stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry attended by representatives of PPMC, PPPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN and IPMAN.
It said the meeting was summoned to convey government’s displeasure at the illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price and the ever lengthening of vehicle queues at filling stations.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the prevailing hike in retail prices of petrol and kerosene across the country is as a result of the unscrupulous activities of some depot owners and major marketers who are engaged in selling the products to retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66k and N34.51K respectively.
“In order to check the unprincipled activities of these Depot Owners and Major Marketers and to prevent further imposition of hardship on the general public, the department of petroleum resources has resolved to take immediate steps to address the issue,” the statement said.
The statement said that this was contrary to the Petroleum Control Act CAP.351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended).
DPR, therefore, said that it would directly supervise the sale of PMS and DPK from depots and also enforce the immediate suspension of direct sales of PMS and DPK from the affected Depots and Major Marketers in order to ensure that appropriate pricing was strictly adhered to.
It also announced the setting up of a special task force which would liaise with the PPMC, PPPRA and the law enforcement agencies to supervise and monitor the sale of product from the sanctioned depots with powers to undertake the direct sale of products.
DPR also reiterated its directive to all Depots, Marketers and Operators to abide by the official pricing regime to avoid sanctions.
“The sanctions might include the activation of all conditions that could lead to the denial of any marketer from further participation in the Petrol Sales Finance scheme and the withdrawal of licence of a facility,’’ the statement added.