By Sebastine Obasi
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that it will not hesitate to close down any illegal tank farm’s operation found in Nigeria without the Agency’s certification and license approval.
Mr Sadiq Abubakar, Head, Depots and Jetties Operations, DPR stated this at the sidelines during the annual general meeting of DPR, Lagos zonal office and depot owners in Lagos.
Abubakar explained that some fuel marketers were using their facilities within residential areas as depots to adulterate petroleum products, which is against the agency rules and regulations.
He also said that it is illegal for marketers to be using their facilities to operate the illegal business of mixing diesel with kerosene.
“As the need to ensure strict oil and gas industry standards cannot be over-emphasized, we have unfolded plans to address issues with marketers concerning existing depot operations’ guidelines,’’ he said.
Abubakar said that there have been reported cases of adulterated products in recent times as it is difficult to ascertain the actual source of such products adding that most times, consumers are quick to point accusing fingers to the depots for compromising quality products.
To curb this, he said that depot owners are to ensure that products leaving their facility through trucks are tagged with the quality certificate, adding that the man-holes of the trucks are to be equipped with tamper-proof seals upon leaving the depot and not to be removed till they reach the approved retail outlet.
“DPR wishes to reiterate that under no circumstances should petroleum products be back-loaded from shore tanks in the depot into awaiting vessels berthed at the jetty. The company discovered to be perpetrating this act without approval shall be severely sanctioned by the DPR,” he said.
He stated that the compliance level have been low on mandated depot facilities to have meters installed at their receiving jetties to improve accuracy of determining the quantity received through dynamic measurement.
This, he said, has become necessary to boost effective delivery and receipt of petroleum products and ensure transparency and accountability.
Abubakar also explained that DPR was inundated with complaints from the public about marketers who arbitrarily fix petroleum products prices above government’s approved price, adding that such actions negate the stipulated regulations and would not be condoned.
According to him, “all marketers buying petroleum products from depots should be issued with certified receipt of purchase indicating quantity of products purchased and price.
“It is illegal for any company to sell petroleum products from a depot without issuing a receipt of sale.
“Any marketer who fixes arbitrary prices shall be sanctioned and the affected facility shut down and operating licence withdrawn,’’ Abubakar warned.