Marketers using NNPC retail outlets to defraud, says DPR
• ‘Petrol still sells for N184.38 in some parts of Nigeria’ • IPMAN, others fault statistics
Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Abuja yesterday said some petroleum marketers are using some NNPC Retail outlets to defraud motorists.
DPR’s Zonal Operations Controller in charge of Abuja Zone, Abdu Misau Abba, told reporters that the marketers were under-dispensing Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.
He said the NNPC Retail station in Wuse II, Abuja, operated by Iluobe Petroleum Limited, was sealed yesterday for the fourth time in recent times for under-dispensing of petrol to the public.
According to him, for every ten litres purchased in the retail outlet, motorists are being cheated by two litres, translating to motorists purchasing the products at N181 per litre.
Abba said: “I want to appeal to the NNPC, because they are using its name to cheat the public. We know NNPC is doing everything possible to make this product available at government-controlled price.”
NNPC Spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu said the corporation would not tolerate erring marketers.
He said the corporation has visited the scene of the incident and currently investigating the situation. Ughamadu said the marketer, who operates as an affiliate operator would be sanctioned if found guilty.
“We have mega stations and affiliates. Affiliates are in partnership with NNPC but individuals are the operators. NNPC does not encourage and would not encourage under-dispensing by any affiliated body. We also monitor the activities of our mega stations by 100 per cent.”
Meanwhile, with petrol officially pegged at N145 per litre, some consumers still buy the product for as high as N184.38.
March statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that price disparities remain across the country.
According to the statistics, national average price stood at N163.4 in March and the highest average price stood at N184.38, while the lowest stood at N145.00.
The product hovers around N161 in the North West, stands at around N166 in North East, N158 in North Central, N160 in South West, N171 in South South and N167 in South East.
Despite the fact that the national average price dropped to N163.4 in March from N172.5 per litre in February, consumers in states like Taraba and Jigawa still pay close to N200 per litre.
Statistician General of the Federation and Head of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale said: “The national average price dropped to N163.4 in March from N172.5 in February. The highest average price of N184.38 was recorded in Taraba and lowest price of N145.00 was recorded in Abuja.
When compared year on year, the product was far stable this time last year, averaging at N149.40.
Spokesperson for DPR, Seidu Muhammed faulted the figure, stating that the statistic does not represent the true market situation.
He said: “It is amazing to hear that marketers are still selling petrol for high as N184.38 per litre. This is not true. We are not resting to ensure that erring marketers are dealt with. We just suspended a marketer today for four months for trying to cheat customers by adjusting pump.”
Vice- President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Abubakar Shettima, faulted the statistics, stating that the products now sell below the capped price.
According to him, the hitches experienced in the supply of the product across the country and marketers now attract consumers with lower prices.
But the General Manager, Communications at PEF, Goddy Nnadi, said the board has sanctioned about 20 oil marketers in the past three months, who were paid for product equalization but still sell above pump price.
He said the agency would ensure that the uniform pricing mechanism works effectively throughout the country.
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