The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has said that fuel stations that are frustrating the Federal Government’s efforts to address the distribution gap in petrol will face stiff penalties.
The Abuja Zonal Operations Controller of NMDPRA, Rosleyn Wilkie, revealed that the penalties will range from a N200 fine per litre of fuel for petrol stations hoarding their products to a N100,000 fine for a gallon sold to black market operators.
The Zonal Operations Controller disclosed the punitive measure on Thursday during the monitoring of some petrol stations across the Federal Capital Territory.
A fuel tanker can hold 30,000-60,000 liters. This implies that petrol stations hoarding fuel will pay N6m for a 30, 000 litre capacity tanker and N12m for a 60, 000 litre capacity tanker.
She said, “The focus today is to ensure that there is no hoarding out there and any station we find that they are hoarding their products will be penalized and the charges for penalty is N200 per litre depending on the quantity you have and those pumps that are selling to jerrycans is a N100,000 per jerrycan.
“And any pump that is under dispensing each pump is charged N100,000. So, we are going to carry out stiff penalties on those offenders.”
The importation of off-spec petrol into the country had forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd to withdraw the product from the market.
The withdrawal of the methanol-blended petrol had led to a supply gap in most parts of the country.
The NNPC Ltd began a 24-hour distribution of petrol across the country.
But some fuel stations are frustrating the efforts of the newly incorporated NNPC Ltd.
Due to the hoarding of products by petrol stations, queues are seen on streets which gives room for the black market operators to flood the streets, selling PMS for as high as N400 per litre.
But Wilkie advised Nigerians to desist from patronising the sellers who are taking advantage of the situation.
The NMDPRA also warned Nigerians against hoarding petroleum products in their cars and homes.
She said, “They (Nigerians) should not stock products at home. There is no need for that. There is no need for panic buying, and it is unsafe to store products in jerry cans both at home and in your vehicles.
“And don’t patronize the roadside jerry can vendors- the black market sellers. Don’t petronise them. Buy your fuel at the station for quality purposes.
“So, for you to be sure of the quality of the product you are buying, you have to buy from the station.”