Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday said that it would not hesitate to sanction depot owners and major marketers who engaged in selling petrol and kerosene above official price.

This is contained in a statement issued by the agency after a meeting held on July 30 in Lagos with all stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The statement said the meeting was attended by representatives of PPMC, PPPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN and IPMAN.

It said the meeting was summoned to convey government’s displeasure at the illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price and the ever lengthening of vehicle queues at filling stations.

According to the statement, preliminary investigations revealed that the prevailing hike in retail prices of petrol and kerosene across the country is as a result of the unscrupulous activities of some depot owners and major marketers who are engaged in selling the products to retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66k and N34.51K respectively.

The statement said that this was contrary to the Petroleum Control Act CAP.351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended) –

"In order to check the unprincipled activities of these Depot Owners and Major Marketers and to prevent further imposition of hardship on the general public, the department of petroleum resources has resolved to take immediate steps to address the issue," the statement said.

The department said it would directly supervise the sale of PMS and DPK from depots in order to ensure that appropriate pricing was strictly adhered to.

The agency said that it would also enforce the immediate suspension of direct sales of PMS and DPK from the affected Depot and Major Marketers.

The statement also announced the setting up of a special task force to supervise and monitor sale of product from the sanctioned depots with powers to undertake the direct sale of products.

It said that the task force would liaise with the PPMC, PPPRA and the law enforcement agencies.

The statement said that the special task force would also issue directives and guidelines to the general public on the procedure for the enforcement of the supervised sales until normalcy returns to the sector.

The department reiterated its directive to all Depots, Marketers and Operators to abide by the official pricing regime to avoid sanctions.

The statement said the sanctions might include the activation of all conditions that mcould lead to the denial of any marketer from further participation in the Petrol Sales Finance scheme and the withdrawal of licence of a facility.