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DPR sanctions 87 erring oil marketers


OILFor alleged sharp practices and non-compliance with the petroleum laws, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sanctioned about 87 erring oil marketers across the country.

The oil industry watchdog in a routine weeklong surveillance operations of retail outlets in Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Kwara and Lagos states, said that many more other stations had their pump sealed in line with the reigning regulations.

The Department, in a statement to The Guardian yesterday said that the routine surveillance in the states under Lagos Zonal operations of DPR had almost 90 petrol filling stations either had some of their pumps sealed off or the entire facility completely shut down as a result of various infractions which ranged from under dispensing of petrol to illegal operation of a station without a license, and in some cases, outright abandonment of the facility.

“A lot of the filling stations were found to be selling petrol above the stipulated official pump price of N87 and even under dispensing by as much as two litres per every 10 litres. In other words, consumers were paying for the equivalent of 10 litres of petrol while actually being served about eight litres.

“In particular, DPR completely sealed up those stations found to have been operating without licenses and have given them the opportunity to formally apply for licenses as a means to regularise their operations,” it stated.

The inspections of retail outlets of the downstream sector is a routine activity that is carried out daily in order to ensure compliance to basic regulations and the continuous availability of products to consumers at official prices.

The list of the affected marketers obtained by The Guardian showed that all of them were independent marketers and majority of them were operating without licences.

The DPR had earlier issued a sound note of warning to the petroleum marketers to desist from sharp practices and indiscriminate hike in fuel prices or face the full wrath of the law.

The Department, in a memo to the marketers last week, said that any marketer found wanting as regards violation of stipulated pump price for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (kerosene) at depots and retail outlet would face strict sanctions.

The Memo, however, warned the unlicensed third-party buyers that operate outside of the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Nigeria Independent Petroleum Marketing Company (NIPCO), and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and other depot premises (thereby constituting illegal spot markets and sources of diversion of petroleum products) to desist from such practices.

“All marketers are hereby warned from illegal diversion of products, especially PMS and DPK. Failure to comply with this directive will attract severe sanctions, including the imposition of a fine of N200 per litre of the diverted products or prosecution in a court of law or both,” it stated.

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