Abuja and Benin City — Any petroleum marketer that indulges in product diversion, under-dispensing or any other sharp practice will have the licence revoked, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has warned.
The Executive Secretary, Abdulqadir Saidu, told journalists yesterday in Abuja that the agency had begun intensive nationwide monitoring of petrol distribution with a view to ensuring that the product gets to the right destinations.
"Marketers that are in the habit of perpetrating unethical practices that contribute to the queues we have had in the last few weeks should desist. We are intensifying our surveillance and monitoring to ensure normalcy returns within the shortest possible time. We have reviewed the sanctions for sharp practices such as hoarding, diversion and under-dispensing with the aim of ensuring that they commensurate with the offence."
Saidu said the PPPRA, Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as well as other industry regulators and operators would ensure hitch-free supply of petrol by deploying cutting-edge technology to checkmate sharp practices.
"The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and his team are working very hard to ensure the queues disappear this week. There are a number of steps that have been taken in the past few days that are aimed at normalizing the supply chain. The queues are expected to thin out this week if not completely disappeared," Saidu said.
The PPPRA boss blamed the current scarcity on supply shortfall, panic buying and sharp practices. He reiterated that there were no plans to increase the price of petrol. "There is no need to embark on panic buying. There are dangers associated with storing fuel at home or anywhere that is not specifically designed for that purpose. The board meeting of the agency held a few days ago did not discuss price adjustment. I assure Nigerians once again that there is no need to engage in panic buying. They thought the price would be increase during the yuletide."
Meanwhile, the DPR has sealed some petrol stations in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The DPR Head of Downstream in Benin zone, Enelama Victor, said the stations were sealed at the weekend for overpricing the product.