The Department of Petroleum Resources says it is partnering with the Department of State Services to check product diversion in Benue State.
DPR’s Operations Controller, Benjamin Ewuga, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Monday that the collaboration was to ensure delivery of petroleum products to exact locations.
Ewuga expressed regrets that in spite government’s efforts to ensure product availability, most petrol dealers, depot managers and marketers were frustrating such efforts by inducing scarcity.
He said marketers were made to deposit their product manifest with the DPR for effective monitoring.
The DPR controller added that more products would henceforth be allocated to petrol service stations in the townships than those in remote outlets.
Ewuga accused depots of fixing extra charges that escalated the cost of products beyond the regulatory N77 per litre without receipting for such extras.
On the part of marketers, he accused them of product diversion to remote locations where they sold at ridiculous prices to motorists.
Ewuga said the regulatory body had designed an efficient monitoring system to track such malpractices to ensure product availability.
He assured Nigerians that monitoring would be carried out at “both ends of the distribution chain” to block leakages in the system to guarantee availability of product.
The controller expressed regrets that the marketers were “making the situation look worse even when availability of product is not bad.
“Our mandate is to ensure that this scarcity is not allowed and we intend to execute it through prevention of diversion, hoarding, sale of products in Jerry cans and other unwholesome practices.
“We have increased the tempo of our surveillance on a 24-hour basis all through the week and have involved security operatives to check midnight diversion by tankers.”
Ewuga appealed to the government to investigate the operations of private depots in the country and punish those contravening its policies on pump price sale.
“They should be made to do business according to government regulations,” he said.
NAN reports that long queues have re-appeared at the petrol stations across the state, while black marketers now sell the product between N150 and N180 per litre.