Abuja - The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sanctioned 18 oil marketers in Abuja for their involvement in unethical sales practices.
Bello-Zagi, Head of Operations of DPR, Abuja Zone made the fact known in Abuja on Tuesday, saying the erring marketers were involved in hoarding, diversion, under-dispensing and adulteration of products.
According to her, licences of seven of the marketers have been suspended.
She attributed the regular occurrence of fuel scarcity in Abuja and environs to such activities.
She said that the activities of oil marketers were discovered by the DPR monitoring team between April 1 and April 28.
Bello-Zagi said that the offending marketers comprised 10 independent and seven major dealers as well as one affiliated station of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“In addition to the sanction, which is sealing of their stations, some of them who diverted or hoarded products were suspended for four months and if there is repetition of the offence they will have their licences revoked.
“Apart from that, they will also be charged the commercial value of the products; this is because the products are not supposed to go to where they were diverted to,’’ she said.
Bello-Zagi said that the agency had inaugurated a surveillance team to monitor the lifting of petroleum products from depots to their destinations in Abuja zone.
She said that the major offence of the marketers in Abuja was under-dispensing of products.
She explained that under-dispensing was the source through which the marketers cheat innocent motorists, “because they know that they cannot adjust pump price above the official price.
"We have designed mechanisms to monitor the activities and we have checks to know if they are hoarding or not, and if we catch any defaulter, they are sanctioned appropriately.”
She said that DPR was collaborating with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies to tackle the challenge of black marketers in Abuja.
According to her, on many occasion, DPR and security agencies have raided black spots where black marketers thrive to dislodge them.
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