01 October 2015, Lagos – Filling stations selling kerosene above the N50 per litre official price as well as those adjusting their pumps in a bid to defraud customers risk a 90-day closure if caught, the Department of Petroleum Resources has said.
The department said the 90-day ban was aside other fines the operators of such outlets would be made to pay before they would be reopened for business.
The position of the DPR was made known on Wednesday by its spokesperson, Mrs. Dorothy Bassey, in a telephone interview with our correspondent.
“Stations that indulge in sharp practices or sell kerosene for prices above the N50 per litre regulated price will be shut down for 90 days if caught. This is aside the fines they will pay for flouting government’s directive,” she said.
Bassey called on the citizens to report anomalies in the petroleum products marketing system, saying the DPR could not be everywhere given the constraints facing the agency in the area of personnel.
According to her, the department is also looking out for marketers, who also indulge in sharp practices with regard to other petroleum products.
The high price of kerosene at the filling stations, before now, had been attributed to the activities of middlemen, who introduced illegal cost elements in the value chain.
The ongoing sanitisation of the petroleum sector has resulted in the elimination of the activities of the middlemen in the kerosene supply value chain, and this development has been described by most stakeholders in the petroleum downstream subsector as the best thing that can happen to the market.
Before now, the major oil marketers could not sell kerosene at their stations because they could not afford to sell at the N50 official price fixed by the government.
In a bid to address this, the Federal Government recently resorted to selling kerosene to oil marketers on credit for about 10 days so that middlemen in the value chain could be eliminated.