Stories by Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has disclosed its resolve to move against potential sharp practices amongst petrol marketers who may want to remain competitive at all cost, to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers.
It stated in a statement that it observed a price competition amongst petrol marketers during a recent inspection of service stations in the country with some selling at N143 per litre, while others sold for N145 per litre. But the regulatory agency explained that it was focused on ensuring that competition does not lead to under-dispensing where marketers will hide under the guise of low price to under-dispense products to unsuspecting customers.
Signed by its spokesman, Mr. Apollo Kimchi, the PPPRA also said that all marketers of petroleum products in the country must display prices of products in their retail outlets even at night or face sanctions.
Kimchi, indicated that a monitoring team had visited some retail outlets in Abuja, and that the directive became necessary to prevent sharp practices by petroleum marketers in the country.
While explaining that the monitoring exercise was an avenue for the PPPRA to gauge the market response to supply dynamics with a view to effecting policies that will improve supply efficiency, he explained that the exercise afforded the PPPRA the opportunity to ascertain first-hand the activities at the end of the value chain in the petroleum downstream sub-sector.
“All these discoveries will be fed into policy direction and will also reflect in our collaboration with relevant authorities to know areas that need strengthening and the signs to look out for,” Kimchi said.
According to him, the information gathered during the monitoring exercise further authenticated the findings made public few weeks ago that the penetration of Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) had become very popular amongst Nigerians especially for domestic cooking purposes and that this has also led to the decrease in the consumption of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
He stated that the PPPRA was in collaboration with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that erring petrol stations get sanctioned, adding that the PPPRA has appealed to all stakeholders to ensure they operate within the law and stipulated guidelines in order to avoid sanctions.