Following the decision of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to dispense Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol at N180 per litre, above N165 per litre, the Federal Government has threatened to sanction those selling above the stipulated approved pump price.
Mr Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive(ACE) Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) made this known in a statement during a joint inspection on fuel stations in Abuja, on Monday.
Recall that some state chapters of IPMAN had earlier asked their members to dispense petrol at N180 per litre and above, blaming the price increase on the rate they bought the product from the depot owners.
According to the NMDPRA’s ACE, the inspection aimed at taking action to enforce the regulations by following up warnings given to the oil depot owners, particularly those selling over the official price of N148 kobo.
Farouk stated that the pump price of PMS was still N165 per litre and remained sacrosanct, adding that nothing had changed and the government had not made any other decision on that.
He said it would take action against defaulters because based on its engagement with the Depots and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria (MOMAN), they were warned against over-price at the depot.
He said as a regulator, there were a series of actions it could take which included withdrawal of service from a particular depot, shutting and sanctioning them because nobody was above the law and we must enforce the regulations.
According to him, the inspection has been an on-going exercise; the authority has seven teams going round in different locations while NNPC has its own teams going round in many locations with support from the security agencies.
“We are actually trying to monitor the dispensing to ensure that all the stations with petrol are dispensing all their trucks to reduce the long queues and ensure efficiency in service.
“We are monitoring the depot sales also, checking the number of truck that are loaded; this is a serious fact which we look at.
“There has been a lot of improvement in the distribution of PMS, we have gone round the Airport road and saw a lot of stations selling and discharging fuel.
“The queues are not long like before and the average trucks we have received in Abuja in the last three days are about 140 trucks against 70 trucks to 80 trucks received before; so there is a lot of improvement.
“Credit also goes to transporters because now they are reacting to the President’s offer of additional N10 as an incentive on their transportation charges. At least we are seeing the improvement,’’ he said.
The ACE also noted increased the freight rate from N10.46 kobo to additional N10 and now N20.46 kobo
Farouk further said this was just to show that the transporters could still transport the product across the nation without loss of revenue which they were complaining about.
On black marketers, he said it was engaging with key oil marketers and had advised them to warn their station managers to stop selling to Jerrican peddlers because it was one of the causes of the problems.
“Once they do not comply, we are going to shut and deal with that particular station affected,’’ he said.
Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC Ltd. during the inspection, revealed that the country has an adequate supply of petrol that would last for months.
He said, “We presently have 1.9 billion litres of PMS; Lagos is expected to be cleared in a couple of days; we will clear the queues in Abuja,’’ Adetunji noted.