The federal government yesterday cautioned marketers and depot operators against illegal adjustment of the pump price of petrol and hoarding of products to create artificial scarcity.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which solely imports products into the country and the industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) gave the warning, saying the government has no intention to adjust the pump price this February, and that anyone doing so is acting on illegality.
Group general manager, group public affairs division, Dr Kennie Obateru, had earlier dismissed reports of such intention, adding that the NNPC has a stock of petrol that can last for over 40 days. He allayed fears about the scarcity of the product.
Obateru urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to clamp down on the marketers hoarding petrol. “We have sufficiency for almost 40 days. If people are hoarding or increasing their prices, it is for the DPR to look into it,” he said. A message from the NNPC to our correspondent also noted that no such plan is in the offing for now.
Meanwhile, as uncertainty pervades the oil industry environment with regard to petrol price, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday said the country will not tolerate hoarding of petroleum products in any part of the country. The department specifically issued a warning to depot owners to desist from the hoarding of the products in their facilities.
This is coming amid indications that the pump price of petrol is being adjusted upward following the increase in the price of crude oil at the international market.
Director of DPR, Sarki Auwalu in a statement said there are reports on the wholesome activities of some depot owners who have created artificial scarcity by hoarding products in some parts of the country.
Efforts to get reaction from marketers were not successful as the national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, did not pick his calls nor respond to SMS sent to him on the matter.