The Department of Petroleum Resources has vowed to introduce more stringent penalties, including revocation of licences of marketers engaged in malpractices in the petroleum product distribution network.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Lagos Zone, Mr. Olugbenga Kuku, said this during the Annual General Meeting of the department and retail outlets marketers in Lagos on Thursday.
He warned the marketers against all sorts of malpractices associated with petroleum product marketing and the downstream oil subsector, adding that a new regime of stringent penalties against malpractices would soon begin.
This, Kuku emphasised, would involve licence revocation, adding that the essence was to force the hands of the marketers to do the right thing.
He said, “We observed during our routine inspection of retail outlets in the year that some marketers have yet to fully conform to some government directives. Some operators still operate with sub-standard price billboards, even some choose to totally ignore the directive.
“These attitudes have given room for suspicion of sharp practices by such marketers. Some operators even encourage the operation of fake DPR personnel in their respective retail outlets. Also, some marketers engage in deliberate cheating by adjusting their pumps to maximise profits.
“Most are being penalised accordingly. The department will continue to impose necessary sanctions on errant marketers that violate petroleum industry regulations.”
Kuku said the DPR would begin the normal process of renewal of licences between October this year and February next year for the 2014/2015 licensing period.
“We are, therefore, advising the retail outlets to submit all applications for renewal promptly so as to facilitate early issuance of licences. Marketers who fail to renew their licences by February 28, 2014 may have their operations suspended,” he said.
Kuku explained that the AGM was generally meant “to provide a platform for us to appraise our performances, address militating circumstances and chart the way forward for a better industry practice.”
“It is our belief that this forum will afford stakeholders a greater understanding of present developments in government’s aspiration for the industry. It will also serve as a forum for better understanding of our operations,” he said.
Information from Punch was used in this report.