18 August 2015, Abuja – The Department of Petroleum Resources, Monday said, henceforth that it will place a fine of N200 per litre on any marketer who diverts petroleum products, in a bid to stem the continued fuel shortages being experienced in the country.
The decision followed series of warnings by the petroleum industry regulator to oil marketers and depot operators to desist from sharp practices leading to the illegal increases in the pump prices of premium motor spirit, PMS or petrol and Dual Purpose Kerosene, DPK/kerosene, which enjoy federal government subsidy.
The DPR, in a statement made available to Vanguard, stated that in addition to the fine, marketers or operators who indulge in the diversion of petrol and kerosene will also suffer severe sanctions and will be prosecuted in a court of law.
The development is coming on the heels of persistent sharp practices in the petroleum products supply chain, especially with regard to the violation of the officially stipulated pump prices for petrol and kerosene at depots and retail outlets.
The warning read in part; “All marketers are hereby warned to desist from the illegal diversion of petroleum products, especially PMS and DPK. Failure to comply with this directive will attract severe sanctions, including the imposition of a fine of N200 per litre of the diverted product or prosecution in a court of law of both.
“Dealers in petroleum products who are sellers, DAPPMA, MOMAN, NIPCO and PPMC, or buyers, IPMAN and IMB, are hereby warned against buying or selling of PMS and DPK above the government regulated prices.
“Unlicensed third- party buyers that operate outside of the PPMC, DAPPMA, NIPCO, MOMAN and other deports’ premises and thereby constituting illegal spot markets and sources of diversions of petroleum products, are advised in their own interest to desist from such practices forthwith or face the full force of the law.
“Third-party throughput Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, either for Depots or for the reservation of products in filling stations must have the express approval of the operations controller of the nearest DPR office in the area, in the case of a filling station, and that of the DPR, in the case of a depot,” it added.
The DPR, had couple of weeks ago, shut down 23 private petroleum products depots across the country, and slammed a fine of N46 million on the owners of the depots.
The DPR, in a statement signed by its Director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, had said the sanction was due to sharp practices by the companies based in Lagos, Warri and Calabar.
According to Ladan, the affected depots were selling petrol to marketers above the ex-depot price of N77.66 per litre.