Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday began investigation into some depot owners in Apapa who sold fuel to marketers above the official ex-depot price of N133.28 kobo.
Mrs Dorothy Bassey, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, DPR in Lagos said that the agency would sanction depot owners found guilty.
According to Bassey, there is no reason for any depot to sell petrol above the official ex-depot price.
“The agency will not hesitate to sanction any depot found guilty of the claim,’’ she said.
A data obtained by the NAN showed that the depot owners increased the ex-depot price on Tuesday following a statement by an NNPC official at a function in Lagos.
Mr Mele Kyari, Group Manager, Crude Oil Marketing, NNPC had said at the 10th Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream that the current price of fuel was no longer realistic due to the nation’s difficult business environment.
The data revealed that five depot owners sold petrol to marketers at between N134 and 143.50 ex-depot price on Tuesday.
The data also showed that only NIPCO Plc sold at the stipulated ex-depot price of N 133.28 to marketers.
A marketer, who preferred anonymity, told NAN that most depots in Lagos hurriedly increased their ex-depot prices since Tuesday “for reason best known to them.”
Malam Muhammad Garba-Deen, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, has urged the public to be calm.
Garba-Deen said there was absolutely no plan by the Federal Government to increase pump price of petrol above N145 maximum level.
He said the statement people were referring to was made within the context of technical explanation, not within the context of downstream operations.
According to him, if there is going to be anything like a price hike, the agency responsible for fixing the price of petrol, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), will definitely sensitise Nigerians on it and give reasons for the hike.
He added that at present, there was no subsidy on petrol, and that the long-term contracts entered into by the NNPC with buyers and suppliers had addressed the issue of foreign exchange volatility.
“As per this moment, there is absolutely no plan to do that and no need to do that, because we have more than enough supply; we have very robust stock of product in our custody.
“ In addition to that, we also have long term procurement contract with our suppliers.
“The usual reason that would necessitate a review of price at the moment had been taken care of. We have long term procurement contract with our suppliers.
“We have more than enough supply to last us throughout the ember months and beyond,’’ he said.