10 August 2015,Lagos – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has said it is illegal for a depot owner to sanction marketers who lift products from its tank farm.
According to IPMAN, the importation of petrol into Nigeria is largely handled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the product is stored in selected tank farms, adding that marketers wishing to buy the product make payments to the NNPC.
The President, IPMAN, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, said it was, therefore, illegal for Capital Oil and Gas Limited to threaten sanctions against oil marketers over issues relating to products stored in its facilities and meant to be distributed across the country.
Last week, the management of Capital Oil announced a ban on some oil marketers for allegedly collecting petroleum products from its terminal and reselling at prices above the stipulated rates set by the Federal Government.
The firm’s Director, Media Services, Mr. Afam Ilounoh, had explained that the decision by his company was in order to save Nigerians from unscrupulous practices.
But the IPMAN president argued, “The DPR, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is the only body or agency of the Federal Government officially authorised to sanction or discipline errant oil marketers in Nigeria and not any individual or registered business organisation.”
He urged the NNPC and other regulatory agencies to caution the oil firm, stressing that Capital Oil had no legal standing to sanction independent marketers.
The spokesperson for the NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, could not be reached on Sunday as calls made to his mobile telephone did not connect when our correspondent sought to get the corporation’s position on the matter. He also did not reply to a text message sent to him either.
But the Chairman, Capital Oil, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, told journalists last week that his firm had agreed with the independent marketers to set up a committee to check sharp practices among oil marketers.