DPR accuses marketers of hoarding, diverting products

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Okechukwu Nnodim and ‘Femi Asu

Petroleum products’ marketers have again commenced the hoarding, diversion and adulteration of products, the Department of Petroleum Resources has alleged.

According to the agency, some marketers are diverting products at their truck terminals across the country, while others are manipulating their dispensing pumps.

Although the DPR said it had intensified surveillance to check the menace, it urged the general public to contact the agency should they observe any sharp practice by petroleum product marketers.

The agency, in a statement on Sunday signed by its Director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, said, “The unwholesome activities of some petroleum products marketers, who indulge in hoarding and diversion of products at their various truck holding terminals across the country and manipulate their retail dispensing pumps at filling stations to the detriment of unsuspecting buyers, have come to the attention of the DPR.

“Consequently, marketers are hereby warned to desist from such sharp practices and deliver products lifted from the depots to designated filling stations within the stipulated one to three days’ grace period, depending on the point of discharge.

“The DPR offices nationwide have been directed to intensify surveillance activities of all private truck parking terminals and depots to ensure that petroleum products lifted from depots are neither hoarded nor diverted.”

The agency stated that it would ensure that marketers complied fully with stipulated oil and gas best practices and assured the public that the Federal Government would continue to maintain adequate daily sufficiency of products, while intensifying efforts to revamp and enhance the performance of local refineries to fill in identified gaps.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is looking at the fundamentals in the pricing of petrol with a view to ensuring that stakeholders get appropriate value for their money.

A statement by Nipco Plc on Sunday quoted the Chairman, Ad hoc Committee on the Review of Pump Price of Petrol in the House of Representatives, Mr. Raphael Igbokwe, as saying this during an inspection of facilities of the company in Apapa, Lagos.

He lauded Nipco for making petrol available at the regulated price across the country, adding that users of the product should get good value for the product at affordable rates so as to improve the socio-economic life of the people.

Commending Nipco’s recent acquisition of majority shareholding in Mobil Oil Nigeria, Igbokwe described it as a good omen as the indigenous company acquired controlling equity in the downstream section of an international oil firm.

Earlier, the Group Managing Director, Nipco, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy, had said the visit of the committee members would afford them the opportunity to see the company’s facilities and do an on-the-spot assessment of its efforts in the industry.

He told the lawmakers that Nipco had been in the forefront of harnessing the great potential of the nation, especially in the area of natural gas, aside from storage and distribution of white products.

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