The country’s long running intermittent fuel scarcities are artificial, and the handiwork of unscrupulous oil marketers and depot owners. This statement was made by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
These groups are hoarding to create artificial scarcity and then selling petrol at N95 per litre, instead of the approved ex-depot price of N77.66, despite getting supplies from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and also enjoying Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) subsidy, says DPR.
The oil and gas regulatory agency says the marketers are making double gains as they are paid subsidy from the PSF and yet they still arbitrarily increase the ex-depot price of petrol.
As of Wednesday, some of the depots sold petrol to dealers at N95 per litre, as against the government approved price.
DPR therefore warns that the licenses of offenders would be withdrawn henceforth if they do not desist from such practices, saying the actions of the depot owners who charge a premium of over N17.34 on a litre of petrol, over the officially approved price amounts to defrauding government and the public, since they all get the subsidy for the products they bring into the country.
Mordecai Laden, Acting Director, DPR, who was represented by O.O. Medei, Head of Downstream, at a recent meeting with the marketers, said “any operator who sells above the government approved prices would have his license revoked.
“We want to have interaction with you, in view of the fact that letters have earlier been sent to individual associations in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, concerning this unwholesome attitude by the marketers and depot owners to desist from it, but they are not ready to listen.
Some marketers have consistently flouted government’s directives, especially by selling above ex-depot price, which in turn translates into higher prices at filling stations, he said.