Zonal Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, Wole Akinyosoye, made it known that some depot owners are selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to unlicensed bulk buyers and some retailers at prices above the approved ex-depot prices. DPR also noticed that some retail outlets hoard PMS or sell at above the industry-set cap price.
According to the regulatory agency, these actions are clear violations of the Petroleum Act 1969 and extant Regulations and they exacerbate the current supply challenges by bringing unnecessary hardships on the consumers. Sequel to the foregoing, DPR has been sanctioning the erring operators and wishes to reiterate that the following penalties would be imposed on any operator engaging in illicit acts as applicable.
Akinyosoye revealed that “depots selling PMS to bulk buyers without verifiable retail outlets will be fined Ten Million Naira and closure of the erring Depot for at least six months, after the products in the Depot have been sold off.” Selling PMS above approved ex-Depot price will attract a fine of Twenty Million Naira, closure of the erring Depot for at least three months. The Pipeline Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) shall also exclude the erring Depot from Coastal supply allocation for at least a period of one calendar year.
Hoarding at retail outlets will lead to a fine of N200.00 per litre which would be imposed on the hoarded product and the erring station would be closed for at least six months. In addition, the recovered product would be auctioned off free to the public. DPR noted that selling above the price cap at retail outlets leads to six-month closure of the erring station while products being sold above the cap price would be auctioned off to the public. DPR cautions operators to take note of the foregoing while it assures the public that the government is doing everything to ensure restoration of normalcy to the sector.
However, the executive secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Olufemi Adewole, while reacting to the new rules said they were meant for depots owners who are selling above government’s recommended price, adding that not all depot owners belong to the association, “what I can tell you are that none of our members is involved in those acts. We have depot owners in different parts of the country who are not our members and defaulting the rules.” It would be recalled that some independent marketers had accused some depot owners of selling above ex-depot price and threatened to shut down their outlets across the country.