30 September 2014, Lagos ~ The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has threatened to sanction marketers of petroleum products that sell Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) above the government’s official price of N50 per litre.
Speaking at the 2014 annual meeting between the DPR and the petroleum products’ marketers in Lagos at the weekend, the Director of DPR, Mr. George Osahon stated that the regulatory body would henceforth sanction any retail outlet caught selling kerosene above the approved price.
Osahon, who said the meeting was a forum to discuss the past lapses in the downstream operations, further noted that it would also enlighten the stakeholders on the role of DPR as the regulator of the petroleum industry.
According to him, the forum was also organised to broaden the knowledge of the operators on other issues that were not clear to them.
He said the meeting was not intended to capture the negative sides of the operators but adding that it was imperative to highlight the few operational lapses discovered by the regulatory agency.
Apart from selling kerosene above the N50 official pump price, Osahon said some filling stations had continued to tamper with their pump meters in order to cheat their unsuspecting customers, despite the constant warnings by the agency.
“This is very disappointing and it goes a long way to show that many operating companies no longer monitor the activities of their stations. The stations have been left at the mercy of dealers, station managers and pump attendants and the companies are only interested in recouping their investments. The companies are therefore, warned that this act must stop or we may be left with no choice than to impose stiffer penalty against any defaulting companies, henceforth,” he said.
He described the sale of kerosene above N50 by marketers as another disturbing act and warned erring marketers to desist from this malpractice or face sanctions.
Osahon also charged the marketers not to compromise safety as the petroleum industry was a dynamic one that required high standards of safety.
“Neglecting this important aspect is not only a contravention of the petroleum laws and regulations, but an act capable of compromising safety, which can cause operational hazard, thereby endangering lives and properties,” he added.
He accused most major and independent marketers of not taking safety issues with utmost priority.
According to him, most companies allow unrestricted number of persons entering filling stations’ premises at will, while “most stations are being crowded with all sorts of people – traders, beggars and touts.”
“This is a gross violation of safety regulations and must be stopped,” he added.
Osahon also noted that the issue of unauthorised conversion of product underground storage tanks is on the increase.
“We have also witnessed tank failure in many stations during integrity tests (leak tests) exercises mainly due to aging, use of substandard materials in tank construction,” he said.
~ This Day