The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, yesterday issued a stern warning to petrol marketers not to sell the product above the new pump price.
The PPPRA threatened to impose sanctions on errant marketers, which may include withdrawal of licenses and all the benefits of participation in Petroleum Support Fund Scheme.
The Federal Government had earlier in the week announced that from January 1 to March 31, 2016 all retail stations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will start selling Premium Motor Spirit at N86 per litre while independent marketers will sell at N86.50k against the previous official price of N87 per litre across board.
The new pump price was a result of the price modulation policy of the NNPC, following crash in oil price in the international market.
The Assistant General Manager and Head of Operations of PPPRA, Mr. Victor Shidok, who led the delegation from the agency to enforce and monitor compliance with the new pump price of petrol in the Federal Capiatl Territory (FCT), Abuja, while speaking with reporters during the exercise, warned that government would not tolerate any deviation from the new directive.
He said the monitoring exercise, which is simultaneously going on across the country, was conceived in conjunction with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged.
Shidok, who led a team of officials from the PPPRA, noted that there was 100 per cent compliance in Abuja, although the team was yet to reach the outskirts where he feared there might be challenges with regard to total compliance.
He said: “This whole exercise is to ensure that the marketers comply with the new pump price. You know usually when we have a change in pump price we go round to monitor compliance.
“We have been to 10 filling stations and we are still going round to make sure that we cover as much as possible.
“Good enough, in all the stations we have visited, both majors and NNPC mega stations, there has been 100 per cent compliance.
“But we shall go up to the outskirts because that is where our concern is. The challenge may likely be on the outskirts.
“All those we have visited say they have received directive from their head offices. We are in touch with the leaderships of oil marketers in the country.
“This is a nationwide exercise. All our staff are in the field across the country and we are doing this at depot level in conjunction with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). They are also out to do a similar exercise because whenever we have a change in the downstream, all the regulatory agencies come out to ensure there is total compliance.
“The law spelt out penalty where you have deviants to whatever directive is issued. Any deviant may lose the benefits of participating in Petroleum Support Fund Scheme, because we may withdraw such people from participating.
“And since we are working in conjunction with DPR, your licence may be withdrawn, apart from other measures that we are likely going to take to ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged”.