July 21, 2024

NMDPRA, security agencies begin nationwide enforcement of petroleum products payment through POS, cash transfer in filling stations  


Oredola Adeola 


The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has revealed the plan to work with security agencies to sanction filling stations rejecting cash transfers and payments through Point of Sale (POS) after selling petroleum products to customers.  


The NMDPRA made this known in a statement by the Authority’s General Manager, Corporate Communication, and Stakeholders Management, and obtained by EnergyDay on Thursday. 


EnergyDay gathered that the new directive is coming on the backdrop of “CASH PAYMENT ONLY” strategy adopted by some Managers and attendants of filling stations. 


NMDPRA in the statement however said that the management of the Authority has received intelligent reports from motorists that some retail outlets are not accepting the use of Point of Sale (POS) machines due to the recent cash crunch brought about by the new Naira design by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 


It said, “The Authority frowns at this recent behaviour which is causing untold hardship for Nigerians at a time when all hands should be on deck to assist the Government in the transition to the new Naira. 


“All retail outlets are directed to ensure the free use of POS and bank transfer for the sales of petroleum products to alleviate the suffering of customers at this critical time.


“The Authority and security agencies will be at retail outlets to ensure compliance with this directive and any filling station found violating this directive will be duly sanctioned. 


The NMDPRA promised its commitment to ensuring good quality service in the sale and distribution of petroleum products nationwide. 


A netizen, Awe Laolu, in a statement on Facebook, alleged that a filling station Makal Energies located in Ikorodu, Lagos, despite selling petrol at N310 per litre, strategically positioned a POS operator by a corner of the station to attend to transact with customers after rejecting online cash transfer and payment via the station’s POS.


According to him, the POS operator employed by the station has sufficient cash to disburse to every customer directed towards her. He also alleged that the fuel attendants who collect only cash, always refund the POS operator to finance the business cycle having taken advantage of the cash crisis. 


Another station named BIL Oil and Gas in Akungba, Ondo state was also alleged  adopting CASH ONLY POLICY by rejecting cash transfers and payments through ATM cards (POS). 


 Olugbenga Asade, a netizen who made this known via Facebook, disclosed that the station engaged some POS agents to collect extra charges from customers before selling petrol to them. 


He said the assigned POS representatives are always available to conduct the cash transaction on behalf of the filling station, while also charging customers N150 on every N1,000 transaction made through cash transfer and N300 on every N1,000 cash done through the POS machine. 


Asade alleged that the fuel attendants always refund the POS operators with the cash received from the customers.


Gilbert Austin, another netizen based in Bayelsa, also reported a case of a filling station in Okarki junction, Yenagoa, rejecting cash transfers and payment via POS, except cash payment. 


He said, “The fuel attendants rather direct you to the office inside the station where a young lady collects N500 for each N5,000 withdrawal. More surprising is that the money she gives is not the new naira notes but the old ones. 


“Invariably, the cash collected at the pumps is recirculated at a huge profit. To me, this is an unethical business practice. Aside from the N410 abnormal pump price which gives the business owner extraordinary profit, deliberate refusal to use a POS machine or accept the transfer for payment all in the bid to get another N500 for each N5,000 to me, is extortion.”