•Probes substandard diesel in circulation
By Emmanuel Addeh
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Wednesday disclosed that at least 94 per cent of filling stations have fully complied with the new petrol price of between N121.50 and N123.50 per litre.
The regulatory agency expressed satisfaction with the level of adherence by oil marketers, stating that it would sanction any actor within the downstream sector flouting the rules.
Speaking after a monitoring exercise of fuel retail outlets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Abuja Zonal Operations Controller of the DPR, Mr. Abubakar Buba, stated that the agency, on receipt of the new pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), undertook an enforcement of the new prices to ensure compliance.
He said that the enforcement activities were aimed at ensuring that marketers do not sell above the stipulated price range, under-dispense to motorists or divert the products to neighbouring states.
He noted that of the 36 petrol retail outlets visited so far, only two, namely Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas, Mpape and Yinzag Petroils, Mabushi, were found selling above N123.50.
He disclosed that both retail outlets were sealed off and sanctioned and had been directed to comply with the new prices, after which they would be unsealed.
According to Buba, the DPR has waded into the complaints of contaminated diesel being sold in some locations across the country, stating that its officials had visited these locations to collect samples of the products and it is currently waiting for the results of the tests conducted on the samples.
“We have received a lot of complaints; some of them we visited and took sample, and we are now waiting for the analysis. Although the laboratory scientists are not available now, but the few management staff that we have are trying to make sure that they do the analysis,” he said.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had last week alerted Nigerians on the presence of fake diesel in the market by fraudulent individuals.
However, all the petrol stations visited had fully complied with the new price, though they were all selling at the highest band, N123.50 per litre, it was observed.
Several of the filling stations in Abuja assured the agency that they had since complied with the new prices, especially as their profit is not totally determined by the price at which they say at the pump.
However, others said that the most difficult aspect of the new prices was the losses incurred by marketers who had large stock of the commodity before the new price was announced.