According to a reliable source in the petroleum industry, President Buhari’s government is bent on stopping sharp practices by all means.
In a continuous effort by President Buhari to halt the high level of corruption in subsidy claims, the Department of State Services (DSS) has been given a go ahead to assume the function of monitoring downstream petroleum distribution and marketing.
This would mean that any retail outlet found selling any petroleum product above the prescribed government price will be immediately shut down, while any depot selling above the ex-depot price will have to forfeit the subsidy claims on the cargo that brought in the product, Vanguard reports.
Reports say that the inability of the industry regulators, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) whose officials were apparently overwhelmed by the supply shortages to check sharp practices and market excesses among the operators.
Report says the DPR has called for an urgent closed door meeting with marketers and other industry stakeholders on Wednesday, July 28 in Lagos to intimate them with the new development.
According to a top industry source who was at the meeting, the Buhari government is bent on stopping sharp practices by all means.
The source said, “DSS will lead the operations (monitoring), and marketers were also asked to monitor each other and to report any sharp practices.
“Government decided that enough was enough and will no longer condone any sharp practices in the system.
“The meeting decided that all marketers must sell at the regulated price of N87/litre of petrol. And anyone found to be selling above this, the DSS will track the outlet to the depot where the product was lifted.
“If it was discovered that the pump price increase is as a result of hike in ex-depot price, then both the outlet and the depot will be sanctioned.
“Originally, it was agreed that both the outlet and the depot will be shut down, but after considering the situation, if was agreed that the depot will not be shut down in order not to exacerbate the supply situation.
“However, the depot operator will be made to forfeit his subsidy claims on that cargo, as it will be assumed that he has reimbursed himself through the ex-depot price hike.
“We are meeting with DPR again tomorrow (today) on the same matter for them to tell everybody what is happening and the need for all to ensure compliance,”
The meeting, which was at the instance of the Federal Government, was said to have been attended by the representatives of the DSS, DPR, PPPRA, Major and independent marketers, depot operators and a host of other industry operators.