Some filling stations across the country are still selling petrol above the approved pump price, an evidence to show that the regulatory function of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has collapsed
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jan. 28, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
DESPITE repeated threats of punishment by the Department of Petroleum Resources, the regulatory agency of the federal government, some petroleum product marketers and depots in the country are still selling petrol and kerosene above the official prices and also under-dispensing products to customers. Some filling stations across the country sell petrol at between N100 and N120 per litre rather than the approved price of N97.
Realnews investigations at many of the filling stations in Lagos, have confirmed that fuel is sold above the approved price in many filling stations. At the MRS filling station, Amonota filling station and Alanamu Petrol Station along LASU/Isheri Road, Lagos, a litre of fuel is sold at between N100 and N105, with N97 visibly displayed at the fuel dispensing machine.
A consumer in Ogba, Lagos, narrated his experience in three different filling stations in his determination to buy the product at the approved price of N97. “I drove into the AP filling station Fagbola Street, Okekoto, Agege, the pump attendant told me that a litre was N105. Likewise, at Ayorinde Integrated Oil Limited, Baale, Animoshauim Street, Alagbado,” he said, adding that Conoil, Ogba Road, Agege sold at between N100 and N105.
Similar experiences are reported across the country, especially in Abuja, Owerri, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri among others where fuel is sold well above the pump price. Even in South-South areas where the oil is produced and refined, the price of fuel ranges from N105 to N120 per litre.
Some of the managers of the filling stations blamed the malpractice on poor enforcement of directives on the side of the DPR. They said most of the filling stations that indulged in the act of selling petrol above the official price and under dispensing to customers, had been doing so for a long time and the regulators pretend not to see them.
However, some of the pump attendants, who spoke to Realnews on condition of anonymity, said they were selling at the price given to them by the company. “A litre is N100 and you have to pay extra N20 if you are buying with a gallon. My job here is to obey the rules and sell at any price given to me by the company,” one of the attendants said. Only the NNPC filling stations and a few filling stations located at highbrow areas appeared to be selling at the approved pump price.
Efforts made to get the DPR to speak on the allegations proved abortive. But an official of the DPR, who wishes anonymity, said they were aware of the sharp practices going on at the filling stations, but the body lacked the manpower to monitor activities of all the filling stations and so they capitalised on this to cheat the public. “We are a regulatory body. We regulate filling stations but as I speak with you, we don’t have the manpower to monitor them. It’s going to be difficult to do. But the DPR should be empowered first to recruit our own staff before thinking of regulating the operations of the filling stations,” he said.
Although the NNPC has assured that the recent pipeline vandalisation at Arepo village, Ogun State, would not result in fuel scarcity or increase in price of the product in states like Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Edo and Kwara, some filling stations have already been using the condition to hoard the product.