The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has fined 20 marketers about N2.48 billion for diverting nine million litres of petrol.
DPR’s Director Mr Mordecai Ladan said this on the sidelines of a meeting of Zonal Controllers from 28 states and heads of division in Abuja.
DPR’s Head of Public Affairs Unit, Mr Saidu Bulama, who spoke to newsmen on behalf of Ladan, said the marketers diverted the products meant for intervention in areas where there is acute shortage.
“The DPR has uncovered massive diversion of petroleum products. This is because of a Special Intelligence Unit that we just created to intensify surveillance.
“This unit goes about to give us reports, in fact they work day and night.
“We received a report that largely some of the diverted products do not appear on the manifest.
“About 162 trucks, slightly above nine million litres have been discovered to be diverted within the month of January and February.
“This gives DPR a lot of concerns and that was why the DPR gathered all the controllers across the country to make sure they further re-strategise and are given clear-cut directives as to how they should go about uncovering these sharp practices.
“The products so far diverted, largely are from Kano NNPC depot, where intelligence gave us a report about one marketer A.Y Maikifi diverting 115 trucks within a month, specifically meant for interventions.
“And those trucks never got to any station because the station he claimed to be taking the truck is a non-existing station.
“DPR intelligence unit visited there and discovered that the land is not even cleared let alone a filling station existing there.’’
He said DPR was not aware of the intervention products given to marketers by NNPC because it was not involved.
“Intervention products are products that are given to marketers to take to certain locations to beef up supply.
“We were surprised that these products were taken to difficult locations with hope that DPR will not locate them,’’ he said.
He said all marketers found to be culpable are to pay N275 per litre instead of the usual N145 to the Treasury Single Account.
“For instance, AYM Maikiffi has been fined N1.2 billion and he must pay because he could not account for the products.
“There are smaller marketers that have since commenced payment of their fine.
“We have realised over N12 million from marketers who have come forward to confess that they diverted products and are willing to pay the fine.
“Some have paid up to 50 per cent while some are still pleading for a waiver but until they finish paying, DPR will not lift the fine,” he said.
Newsmen report that other marketers fined for diversion of products include Total for diverting 259,986 litres to a non-existent station in Damaturu.
The DPR also fined Nushe Nigeria Ltd. for diverting 135,000 litres, AY Goro 50,000 litres, OVH Energy 13,500 litres and NNPC Retail Samao Ventures 40,000 litres.
Others are Toniste for diverting 99,000 litres, Northbridge 45,000 litres, Sarco Petroleum 40,000 litres and Eco Integrated Oil & Gas 40,000 litres.