The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday wielded the big stick on three independent petroleum products marketing firms for various sharp practices, including products diversion and hoarding.
The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, the NNPC subsidiary in charge of petroleum products distribution and marketing, said Funo Alfa, Organizer West Africa and Rich Oil Company will have their Bulk Purchase Agreement (fuel lifting licenses) revoked immediately for engaging in products diversion and sundry infractions.
The group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said the sanction, which takes immediate effect, has cost the three companies the withdrawal of their products lifting licenses, to serve as a deterrent to other marketers determined to frustrate the effort of the government to ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel to consumers.
Consequently, Mr. Alegbe warned fuel marketers all over the country to desist from illegal business of products diversion, hoarding, and any other forms of sharp practices, as the Corporation would not hesitate to clampdown on any of them found wanting.
“The NNPC is closely monitoring the petroleum products market to ensure that those who are not ready to do the business genuinely and lawfully are identified and weeded out,” Mr. Alegbe said. “We must warn that withdrawal of fuel lifting licenses of erring marketers is a continuous exercise.
“Henceforth any oil marketer found to be involved in products diversion will have its Bulk Purchase Agreement with the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company revoked.”
Despite the huge load-out of petroleum products from PPMC depots by both major and independent marketers in recent times, Mr. Alegbe said the NNPC had observed persistent tightness of supply experienced in some parts of the country, which has been traced to massive diversion and hoarding of products by some marketers.
He said the warning for marketers to desist from such sharp practices was issued as part of efforts by the NNPC to sanitize the fuel distribution and supply system and eliminate the long queues at filling stations across major cities in the country.