NewsFG Directs NMDPRA To Sanction Oil Marketers Involved In Petrol Racketeering

FG Directs NMDPRA To Sanction Oil Marketers Involved In Petrol Racketeering


February 08, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), to sanction any oil marketer involved in the racketeering of petroleum products.

This is just as it blamed oil marketers who engage in racketeering activities for being responsible for the rising cost and scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit in parts of the country.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed these while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Sylva said that although Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has ensured fuel supply nationwide, challenges persist at distribution points.

He explained that the ministry had issued directives to end racketeering, which has led to soaring fuel prices. But those directives have not been obeyed, even as supply bottlenecks persist.

Sylva, who insisted that PMS is now available nationwide, blaming the scarcity on factors outside the control of his Ministry, said the distribution challenge would not hinder the February 25 and March 11 elections.

He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission that petroleum products would be available for the exercise.

“We have reports of profiteering by marketers, and I’ve directed (Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agencies) NMDPRA to sanction anybody who profiteers in this kind of situation.

“I mean, we cannot stand by and watch our citizens being exploited by marketers. But of course, I have given that directive and I don’t know if it has not taken effect. I don’t know the details of how far that directive has been carried out. But I will still further give that directive if that is still the situation, but we are definitely not turning a blind eye at all.

“There are laws. You know how these things happen. There are definitely laws and this is a democratic system. Of course, they can’t go against the law themselves, the regulators can’t also go against the law.

“So, these regulations can be carried out through the processes provided for by law. So, I will direct an NMDPRA further to ensure that nobody profiteers on the citizens of Nigeria.

“As I said earlier, the Ministry of Petroleum is not in control of all the factors that lead to scarcity in the sense that there are Forex issues as well as other issues. But at the moment today, there is supply, but unfortunately, we are experiencing some bottlenecks with the distribution and movement of the product to various destinations for now.

“I want to assure you that everything is being done; the NNPC Limited, NMDPRA, the marketers, everybody’s hands is on deck to ensure that this problem is resolved and to also inform you today we had a briefing from INEC and INEC has also engaged NNPC and NNPC have assured INEC that petroleum products supply to INEC will not be a problem and so that will not likely affect the election at all”, he said, adding that FEC approved the award of contract for the construction of the Oloibiri Oil Museum and Research Centre to Messrs Julius Berger Plc, at the sum of N117 billion with a completing period of 30 months.

“Council has approved a contract for the construction of the Oloibiri Oil Museum and Research Center to Messrs Julius Berger PLC, at the sum of N117 billion, with a completion timeframe of 30 months. This project has been on the drawing board for so long. The first time foundation stone was laid for this project in the early 80s by President Shehu Shagari.

“So, this actually is a major milestone and it is expected to be a major legacy of Mr President in the Niger Delta”, he said.

Also, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, will take off soon.

“Nigeria Air will soon start flying. We’ve got the aircraft ready, they’re painted in the colours. We’ve crossed all the Ts and dotted the Is. We’re at stage five of the AOC issuance by the NCAA. Once that is done, the airline will begin to fly.

“So, there are five stages, we’ve done stage 1,2,3,4 and we are now at stage five, once the AOC is given, the aircraft is ready to start to fly”, he said.

Sirika announced that FEC approved a contract for the airport maintenance and technical support at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano in favour of CCECC at the cost of N721,266,733.64, with a completion period of 12 months.

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