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Scarcity: DPR sanctions oil marketers in Ekiti

Some filling stations found to be selling petrol above the pump price of N145 per litre in Ekiti State, were yesterday penalized by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The defaulters were fined between N100,000 and N200,000 depending on the number of regulations flouted and pumps that were being operated as of the time the offence was committed.

Before the DPR’s action and enforcement, some petrol stations were selling between N150 and N160 per litre, while also hoarding the product, which further compounded the burden on the buyers.

There was a row at the NNPC Mega Station located along Iworoko road in Ado Ekiti, as some buyers openly protested the rejection of the management of the station to sell into kegs.

The buyers claimed that they have been on queue since 8am and that there was no information to the effect that they won’t be allowed to buy, saying “they ought to have told us before now so that we can look for other stations to buy the product”

But a staff of the station said it has been a normal convention in any NNPC not to sell into kegs, saying it violated the NNPC’s code of ethics.

The leader of the DPR officials, Mr. Anthony Onaji, said the punitive action became necessary to save Nigerians from untold hardship occasioned by fuel scarcity.

Onaji added that it contravened the regulation of the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for people to sell above official price when such has not been sanctioned by the federal government.

The delegation forced the stations to revert to N145 and they were monitored to ensure that buyers were not cheated.

He said: “We pitied Nigerians under this circumstance. They are going through hardship as a result of this acute fuel paucity across the nation and we have to do the right things for normalcy to return.

“We quite understand that there may be short supply to Ekiti State but the ones that are in the circulation must be sold to the populace, it must not be hoarded.

“I don’t think it will be fair to Nigerians to find it difficult to get petrol and when they get they are made to buy above N145, so this makes it compulsory for us to do our duty by ensuring that no sharp practice is tolerated”, Onaji said.

Onaji assured Nigerians that the NNPC will soon overcome the current challenges as promised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu before Christmas celebration for lives to be meaningful to Nigerians.

The DPR official stated that no efforts will be spared to protect Nigerians from being cheated by those that were circumventing the laws to cheat the buyers.

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