DPR Seals 6 Filling Stations in Rivers, 7 in Oyo

Backing up words with actions as broadcasted by The Department of Petroleum Resources. DPR, yesterday sealed six filling stations in Rivers State for diversion and hoarding of petroleum products, even as DPR disclosed that over 35 stations have received Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

The DPR team which was accompanied in the operation by operatives of Department of Security Service, DSS, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, also issued Notice of Penalty to Conoil filling station on Ikwoku Junction for under dispensing and hoarding of product. Chinda Petroleum Limited, Jet Super Kiosk, Tonnino, Biddel, Restopark and MRS were shut for hoarding and selling a liter of petrol at N230.

This is just as the team forced Restopark, along Odili road, to dispense fuel to motorists that were present, before sealing off the premises for selling above the government approved pump price. The Port Harcourt Zonal Controller, Ibani Frank-Briggs, who spoke to newsmen on the development expressed concerned that filling stations decided to inflict pains on Nigerians this yuletide. Frank-Briggs confirmed that over 35 filling stations in the state on Thursday received petrol product yesterday, assuring residents of the state that DPR would not relent in its efforts to ensuring that the right thing was done in the petroleum industry. The DPR Zonal Controller maintained that the nation had enough petrol and that the price remained the same as approved just as he accused the petroleum marketers of not being fair to members of the public.

It has also been discovered that seven filling stations have been shut down in Oyo State.

Bayelsa State Fuel Dealers to Get Licensed Online

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) through its Operations Controller, Mr Asuquo Antai, says the agency has concluded plans to commence online licensing and renewal of operating licences for fuel dealers in Bayelsa.

He said the public would soon be sensitised on the platform which would run concurrently with the manual system for eight weeks after which it would be suspended.

According to Asuquo, “The online application process is part of efforts to fully automate operations in the downstream sector of the oil industry for improved efficiency and faster service delivery and transparency.”

“Applicants for issuance and renewal of operating licences do not need to visit DPR office or meet anyone.”

“They can in the comfort of their locations visit the DPR website, create a profile and upload the required documents.”

“We have also emphasized to the stakeholders that all communication with DPR is by email and the need to have functional email addresses.”

“Immediately the application and documents are uploaded, they are verified by our staff and a site visit is scheduled immediately.”

“If the application is successful, the licence is sent online back to the applicant to print out,” Antai said.

DPR Announce Arrival Of Petroleum Products Order For NNPC, Marketers

The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mordecai Ladan, yesterday raised Nigerians’ hope on availability of petrol with the announcement that consignments ordered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and major oil marketers had started arriving the nation’s ports.

Major Marketers had withdrawn from the importation of products as a result of difficulty in accessing foreign exchange until the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) collaborated to give them easier access to FOREX.

He broke the news to reporters after inspecting an NNPC affiliate station in Gwarimpa and the Oando Petrol Station on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Jabi, beside Karimo Road fly over in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The director also shut down the Oando Petrol Station over suspected adulteration of its fuel.

Ladan had led the enforcement team of the department to the station after a tip-off that it had refused to sell its product.

On arrival, the DPR team discovered that although the station had about 9,000 litres of petrol, it refused to sell to the long queue of motorists that had spent the whole night at the filling station.

But the station’s attendants complained that their pumps were faulty and could easily pack up after dispensing product for a few minutes.

Following the inspection of the pump and the content available at the station, Ladan sealed the station up, saying: “For this station, we have almost 9,000 litres underground but the pumps are not responding to drawing this fuel from the ground. That means that there is a problem.

“The problem is that adulteration is suspected. That is why we are calling on the pumps to withdraw from this station pending when we carry out our investigations.

“We have sealed it. It is going to be quarantined until the necessary inspection and assessment is done and we know how to go from there.”

According to him, the product must have been mixed with extraneous substances that were heavier and affecting the pump.

Most of the motorists who had queued for fuel overnight lamented that the station was playing pranks, adding that it was in the habit of selling fuel above the recommended pump price to black marketers at night.

One of the motorists, who identified himself as Tosin Bright, said: “I came here at 4.30 am. Look at the time; it is now 2.30 pm but I have not gotten fuel while those that came with plastic cans between 9 and10 am have bought fuel.”

Another customer, Adisa Olutayo, said “once it is night, they adjust the pump. They sell to kegs and in the morning they revert to the normal pump price.”

Commenting on the fuel situation, Ladan said: “In the first stations we visited, which is NNPC in Gwarimpa, they have more than enough products to last for four days. From the inspection we carried out, they have more than 200,000 litres; that could last into Monday next week.

“We are appealing to the public that they should not panic because these products are already arriving and lifting is going on from the coastal depots into the hinterlands. So very soon, the situation is going to normalise. “There is more than enough that the government has ordered, both by the NNPC and the marketers.”

Kerosene Subsidy Returns

The Federal Government on Thursday commenced the payment of subsidy on kerosene to the tune of N1.17 for every litre of the product consumed across the country, latest data from the pricing templates of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has shown.

This is coming as inspection officers from the Department of Petroleum Resources clamped down on defaulting oil marketers by forcing them to dispense kerosene at the regulated price of N83 per litre.

On January 23 this year, PPPRA’s template for House Hold Kerosene had shown that there was no more subsidy on the product, a development that stakeholders described as a subtle way of ending the subsidy regime.

But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had argued that the subsidy regime on petrol and kerosene was never terminated by the Federal Government.

According to him, what the government did was to modulate the prices of the commodities based on the fall in crude oil price in the international market.

His argument has now been upheld as the latest figures from the PPPRA show that the government has recommenced the payment of subsidy, and this is based on the marginal rise in the price of crude oil to about $40 per barrel.

The PPPRA is the agency of the Federal Government that fixes and regulates the prices of white products like petrol and HHK, as well as other refined petroleum products across the country.

An analysis of the template posted on its website on March 17, 2016, which was based on Platts’ average prices, revealed that the expected open market price (true cost) of kerosene at filling stations run by independent/major oil marketers was N84.17 per litre.

This is against the official approved retail pump price of N83 per litre at which the outlets are mandated to sell the product.

The PPPRA also stated in its template that the government was making an under recovery of N1.17 on every litre of kerosene consumed in the country; meaning that the commodity is being subsidised to the tune of N1.17 by the government.

For stations run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, kerosene is being subsidised by N0.81 per litre, according to the regulatory agency.

On why the DPR decided to clamp down on marketers selling above the regulated price, the agency’s Assistant Director, Operations, Abuja Zone, Mr. Ahmed Alaku, told journalists that it was wrong for any dealer to sell above the approved price no matter his or her claims.

Alaku refuted claims by some marketers that they were getting the white products at high rates from depot managers.

“If you claim that you buy the product from the depot at more than the regulated government price, there should be evidence. You cannot come and say you bought the product at N90 per litre and you are selling at N100 without any evidence,” he said.

NNPC Station Also Caught Hoarding Fuel, Shut By DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in Akwa Ibom, said it sealed the NNPC mega filling station in Uyo, for allegedly hoarding petrol.

The Controller (Operations) in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River, Bassey Nkanga, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Eket on Sunday that the mega station had amassed the product in its storage tanks, but refused to sell it to members of the public.

Mr. Nkanga, however, said that although the state was experiencing shortage of the product, the situation was not peculiar to the area.

He appealed to residents of the state to be patient as government was working hard to redress the problem.

“The fuel scarcity is not experienced only in Akwa Ibom; it is a national problem.

“Yesterday, we got two trucks of the product for Uyo. We are monitoring the sale of the product to see if there will be any illegality,’’ Nkanga said.

Meanwhile, motorists in the state have continued to express displeasure at situation created by the scarcity of the product.

This is because a litre of the product now sells for between N170 and N200 in Eket and environs and transport fares in the area have increased as a result.