By Obas Esiedesa
THE National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Engr. Sanusi Fari, on Thursday called on Federal Government to clampdown on private depot owners who are selling above approved ex-depot price to avoid petrol scarcity.
Fari who spoke to journalists in Abuja said private depot owners were selling at N165 per litre to marketers instead of government approved N148 per litre.
He urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to take action against the depot operators.
He said the clampdown was necessary to avert imminent skyrocketing of the retail price of the price and the attendant sufferings it would bring on Nigerians.
He urged relevant agencies to ensure the control and strict compliance to government stipulated price of petrol by all stakeholders, stressing that agencies should met out the measures to all the downstream supply chain just the way the clampdown and seal erring filling stations.
He said: “Our challenge is inconsistency in the pricing of petrol. Up till a week ago, government still insisting that February price remains unchanged. And most of the private depot owners are selling above the government stipulated price. As at today (Thursday February 25, 2021) private depot owners are selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers.
“In the last six years only NNPC imports refined products into this country and these tank farms buy their products from NNPC under a controlled price.
“This has affected our businesses seriously because government is insisting that we sell at the rate of N165, which is not going to work.
If we do the plus and minus, we buy N165 per litre from the private depots, and we do the transportation and what have you. Government cannot expect us to sell less than what we buy.
“We are calling on government and agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to control pricing of petrol, both from the depots and the retailers, that is the filling stations, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Department of State Services (DSS) to urgently clamp down on most of these private depots that are selling above the government stipulated price because they have the right to seize their licenses.
“Just like what they are doing to our members, when they find any filling station selling above government stipulated price they seal such erring station. So, why can’t they go to private depots force them to sell the product at the government stipulated price.
“Government is not in control of pricing at the depots and they need to go there and see what is happening because these sales are done openly, not hidden”, he added.