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Hoarding/Diversion: Oil regulator begins surveillance, assures consumers of regular fuel supply

Officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority a Filling Station, in Abuja, FCT

*The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has activated surveillance of filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory, to protect consumers and prevent petroleum dealers from hoarding or diverting products

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In a move to protect consumers against exploitation while ensuring that petroleum dealers do not engage in hoarding, or divert products in the country, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Abuja Zonal Office, has begun surveillance of filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

ConsumerConnect gathered the NMDPRA disclosed this development Friday, November 19, 2021, in Abuja, following its ongoing intensified investigation of some filling stations in the FCT, due to an initial artificial scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol witnessed in the region.

The regulatory authority between November 17 and 18 had carried out similar surveillance on filling stations in FCT and its environs, agency report said.

Reports had indicated that there were queues at many filling stations in the FCT and suburbs, between last Sunday and Thursday, sequel to alleged artificial scarcity of petroleum products supply to several stations in the area.

The NMDPRA noted that its intensified surveillance, led by Mr. Umar Mohammed, Team Lead, Retail Outlet Monitoring (ROM), NMDPRA, Abuja Zonal Office, had led to the disappearance of queues from all filling stations within Abuja and its environs, report stated.

It was also learnt the authority filling stations in the FCT, including Eterna, Wuse II; AP, Ardova Plc, IBB Way, Maitama; Oando, Wuse, Zone 4 and AP Plc, and Muhammadu Buhari Way, Garki, among others.

According to NMDPRA, the primary objective of the exercise is to ensure that available petrol products in storage tanks were sold, and that all fuel pumps were utilised in dispensing the products at the designated stations.

It as well noted that the focus of the surveillance had been to ensure availability of the products and that marketers equally adhered to approved and regulated pump price of petroleum.

The exercise was to ensure that products were delivered in the stations, in accordance with the lifting manifest from the depots, the regulator said.

In his remarks after the surveillance exercise, Team Lead Mohammed expressed satisfaction from the findings of its joint surveillance team.

He stated that petroleum products dispatched to all the filling stations the team visited, arrived their destinations and were discharged, while all the stations had sufficient quantities.

Part of the problem, Mohammed noted, was caused by entry into the Yuletide season, which caused a slight increase in demand due to many activities that made the supply not to be enough as it was increasing geometrically.

Important steps were taken, including a multilateral stakeholders’ meeting at which some terms were agreed and Nigerian Pipeline Storage Company Ltd also agreed to sustain current supply, he disclosed.

He assured consumers that the authority would sustain its depot monitoring and surveillance at the filling stations during the Yuletide and beyond.

According to him, anyone caught hoarding would face the full wrath of the law.

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