11 August 2015, Lagos – Major and independent marketers of petroleum products have continued to defy the directives of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), prohibiting the sale of petrol above official prices. Despite the recent clampdown on erring marketers by the regulatory agency, THISDAY investigation revealed that some major oil markers, among them Oando, Mobil and MRS still sell petrol between N105 and N110 per litre at some of their retail outlets across the country.
DPR had last week sealed some of the erring depots after reading a riot act to the operators but no sooner had they opened some of the affected depots than they started selling above official prices.
While Sahara Energy’s depot and Ascon Petroleum were still sealed by the regulatory agency at the weekend, MRS was selling at N89 per litre, against the official ex-depot price of N77.60.
Also, Capital Oil and Folawiyo were selling at N83 and N85, respectively, while others such as Acorn; EMMADEP; Ibakem; Ibeto; Integrated Oil and Gas; Zenon, SPOG Petroleum and Gulf Treasure were selling only diesel as they did not have stock of petrol.
The survey also showed that the major marketers such as Forte Oil, Conoil, Mobil, Oando, Total were also selling at ex-depot price of N87 per litre with some of retail outlets selling at the same price, which is government’s approved official pump price, most of their retail outlets were selling at N105 and N110.
Some of the marketers, who spoke to THISDAY, blamed the hike on ex-depot price on inadequate supply.
“DPR is not sincere. There is no way sanction can stop marketers from selling above official price. It is either they close the depots or the product will still be sold at high cost until supply improves. What is happening is that the forces of demand and supply are at play. If the whole country is wet with product, nobody will hike prices. But as long as there is inadequate supply, the price differential will continue to be seen,” said one of the marketers.
The DPR had summoned a meeting of the stakeholders – Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC); Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA); Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), where the agency conveyed its displeasure at the illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price.
Citing the Petroleum Control Act CAP.351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended), the agency noted the prevailing hike in retail prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) across the country is as a result of the unscrupulous activities of some depot owners and major marketers who are engaged in selling PMS and DPK to various retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66k and N34.51K respectively
To curb these sharp practices, the DPR announced the immediate suspension of direct sales of PMS and DPK from the affected depot owners and major marketers.
It also announced the immediate setting up of a special DPR task force on supervision and monitoring of product sales from the affected depots with powers to undertake the sale of products from these depots.
But these measures have not stopped the marketers from selling petrol above the official prices.
– This Day