The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has suspended direct sales of petroleum products to marketers selling above recommended ex-depot price of N77.66 and N34.51 for petrol and household kerosene respectively.
The regulatory agency announced the suspension in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos. According to DPR, the sanction was a follow up to a meeting held on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in Lagos between the agency and all stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry including PPMC, PPPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN and IPMAN which was summoned to convey government’s displeasure at the sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price and the ever lengthening of vehicular queues at the filling stations.”Pursuant to the Petroleum Control Act CAP. 351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended), 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 petrol and kerosene to various retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66 and N34.51 respectively,” the statement read.
The regulatory agency also declared that it was ready to checkmate activities of depot owners and major marketers in order to stamp out malpractices and further imposition of hardship on the general public. “The DPR is resolved to take immediate steps to directly supervise the sale of petrol and kerosene from these affected depots in order to ensure that appropriate pricing is strictly adhered to. This process will involve immediate suspension of direct sales of petrol and kerosene from the affected depot owners and major marketers. Immediate setting up of a special DPR task force on supervision and monitoring of product sales from the affected depots with powers to undertake the sale of products from these depots and issue directives and guidelines to the general public on the procedure for the enforcement of the supervised sales throughout the period of this exercise until normalcy returns to the sector,” it said.
By Olisemeka Obeche