30 September 2014, Lagos ~ The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the regulator of the nation’s petroleum industry, said it will sanction petroleum marketers who engage in the manipulation of their pumps and adulteration of products.
The warning was given by the Lagos Zonal Operations Controller, Mrs. Chioma Njoku, while addressing marketers, retail outlets operators, and stakeholders last week in Lagos.
“The critical area we are looking at is the manipulation of the pumps at the sale points. When you manipulate the pumps, automatically you are selling above the pump price because you are under dispensing and selling at what looks like the correct price. It is unacceptable.
“Also, the quality of the products is of concern to us. Sometimes, you buy from unscrupulous sources and sell adulterated products to the people. Those are the areas we really have to clamp down on the marketers.
“DPR wishes to reiterate its advice and to remind us once again that sanctions await operators that continue to manipulate their dispensing pumps and sell adulterated products,” she said.
Though she did not give the number of those so far sanctioned, she explained that product quality control is important to DPR to ensure that products received and distributed to the public meet the recommended specification.
“Much as the DPR encourages the proliferation of filling stations or retail outlets, prospective owners must follow due process to obtain all requisite approvals before commencement of any project as well as upgrade of existing facilities.
“It is unacceptable for retail outlets to purchase products from uncertified sellers who in most cases would be delivering sub-standard products to the people,” she added.
As regards the non-availability of dual purpose kerosene, DPK, otherwise known as kerosene, Njoku said that the government is making efforts to ensure the product, as well as other products reach the populace.
“We have to talk about the moral side of doing business. DPK is made available to marketers and they are supposed to be able to sell to the public at the regulated price of N50 per litre. But what you find is that they short change the public, which is bad and unfortunate.
“We do go around in our surveillance drive to make sure that they revert to the regulated price to sell to the people anytime we found they are not doing so.”
While deploring marketers’ penchant for using their facilities as hideouts for some untoward activities that are not covered by their licenses, she warned that such infractions will attract serious sanctions which include sealing of the facility and outright cancellation of the license.