The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that henceforth, any oil marketer caught manipulating the pump price of fuel will be fined one million naira and the station closed for three months .
The Director of Petroleum Resources of DPR, Mr Mordecai Ladan, made the plan known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, in Abuja on Friday.
“Any fuel station owner found manipulating pump price will be shut down and we will charge the marketer one million naira and the station will be closed for a period of three months.
“Those who under-deliver products will be charged N100,000 per pump. So, if you have six pumps, you will be charged N600,000 and the station closed down for three months.
“If you hoard products, as the minister has directed, we will dispense the product free to the public,’’ he said.
According to him, there is no justification for any marketer to sell above pump price and marketers found contravening the policy will be punished accordingly.
Ladan said DPR had observed that compliance by marketers was not adequate causing it to convene the meeting of field commanders to ensure full compliance by retail outlets.
He said that the meeting was a follow-up to the minister’s directive to DPR to step up its surveillance activity on retail outlets throughout the country.
“We have come together to discuss and deliberate on the strategies to use on marketers to ensure compliance on the stipulated pump price.
“We are taking measures to ensure that marketers that have been allocated products really sell at the stipulated pump price,’’ he said.
Commenting on the level of compliance to the directive, the Kaduna Zonal Coordinator, Malam Usuman Ndanusa, said there was total compliance in Kaduna metropolis, while efforts were being made to cover rural areas.
“ We are still in the process of going round the interiors but within Kaduna metropolis, the compliance is almost 100 per cent.
“But we still have to go to places like Brini Gwari and other places where it takes two to three hours to get to.
“There are still some areas that are not complying, we have provided our mobile numbers to the public to report such cases.’’
He said that the agency had suspended 13 filling stations for violating the policy in the last two weeks.
Alhaji Idris Zoaka, the DPR Zonal Coordinator in Maiduguri, said that the supply of products in the area had improved from six trucks to between 15 and 20 trucks daily.
He said that in Borno and Yobe, marketers were complying, while in Damaturu and Potiskum, there was reasonable level of compliance.
He said that the office had formed small team workers to assist in monitoring to ensure full compliance in the zone.
“In Yola and Taraba, the team has also been formed and they are up and doing too, things are good.
“Compliance is okay at the metropolis but at the hinterland, that is where we have challenges and we are trying to see how we will tackle it,’’ he said.
Also, the DPR Zonal Coordinator in Owerri Mr Morison Nwokedi, said that the recent report that there was non-compliance in the Southeast was false.
“The truth is that there are challenges but they are also being resolved.
“ We are holding meetings with IPMAN and other groups, this is government policy and you know that the product for now is being imported by government, so they have to comply.
“If you say there is non-compliance in the east, I do not think so. Some are complying, the major marketers are complying,’’ he said.
He called on Nigerians to come up with evidence to enable the department to sanction people found violating the policy.