As part of measures to curb the usual fuel scarcity during yuletide, the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) has announced plans to sanction erring marketers for six months.
DPR Head of Downstream Monitoring and Regulations, Mrs Ijeoma Onyeri, disclosed this at the First Annual General Meeting and Anniversary if its Abeokuta Field Office on Thursday.
Onyeri said that the sanction was mandated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, in order to curb hoarding and diversion of petroleum product.
Represented by Isah Ibrahim, Acting Assistant Director, Retail Outlets Monitoring, Onyeri said there was no plan by the government to increase prices of petroleum products, warning against panic buying by both the public and the marketers.
“It’s important to note that as we approach the yuletide period, the Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, has mandated the DPR to suspend any defaulting marketer.
“Be it depot or a petrol filling station found engaging in hoarding or diversion of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), for a period not less than six months while stiffer fine will be imposed in addition to the above,” she said.
She said the DPR would soon launch Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream Operations (MISTDO) as part of initiatives to improve on safety of life and property in the downstream sector operations.
In her welcome address, DPR Coordinator of Abeokuta Field Office, Mrs Muinat Bello-Sagie, said the AGM offered stakeholders opportunity to interact, share knowledge, ideas and experiences in order to continually improve on the DPR activities in Ogun and Nigeria at large.
She added that apart from the supervisory role of the oil and gas operation, the organisation also ensured the safety of lives, assets and environmental protection.
“Within one year that Abeokuta office was created, the DPR had tackled many challenges mitigating smooth operations of the downstream sector including diversion of products, under-dispensing, among others
“Some of the issues we had to deal with include proliferation of illegal LPG operations, diversion of products, under-dispensing and un-serviceable fire extinguishers.
“But with your collective efforts and support, we have made notable strides in ensuring a safer and sustainable operation across the value chain for our stakeholders in Ogun State,” she said.