The Federal Government has threatened to sanction depots and filling stations selling fuel above the approved pump price. Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, made this known in a press conference on Thursday evening, in response to the fuel crisis across the country.
Sylva statement’s is in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive instructing the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the entire security agencies to take strong action against owners of depots and filling stations’ owners across the country for sabotaging the petroleum product supply chain.
Meanwhile, the Minister promised sanctions for any of those depots that continue to increase the Ex-depot price as approved for petrol. He promised that the government will deal decisively with anyone who tries to take advantage of this situation.
Speaking on the hike in price of Diesel, the Sylva sympathised with Nigerians for the hardship they are facing on the backdrop of the prices of the product.
According to him, Diesel is a deregulated product, when crude prices are high, diesel prices are expected to rise as well.He revealed that all the petroleum product tankers need diesel for their movement, adding that this has further worsened the distribution network for the petroleum products.
Minister of State for Petroleum, “We are aware, just like President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement, that there are some depot owners who are taking advantage of the situation by increasing the Ex-depot price.
“I can assure you that there will be sanctions for any of those depots that continue to increase the Ex-depot price as approved. We are going to deal decisively with anyone who tries to take advantage of this situation.”
“Prices of crude oil went up exponentially beyond levels expected. As you all know, when crude oil prices rise to that level, it can also affect the derivatives of crude oil.
“Nigerians are suffering because of the high diesel prices, including everywhere else globally,” he added.
“If any deport owner increases price or any fuel station tries to take advantage of the situation, the public should report immediately.
“If we do not get the report, we cannot know what is going on or sanction them.
“We will continue to ensure that the situation is controlled. Queues are coming down in Lagos and other parts of the country. Very soon, this will be a thing of the past,” he said.