The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA) has suspended operations of four filling stations in Anambra over suspected delivery of bad Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at the outlets.
Mr Victor Orjiakor, Operations Controller of NMDPRA in Anambra said this in Awka on Wednesday.
Price of PMS has increased between N162 and N165 per litre to between N190 and N200 per litre in Awka and some parts of the state.
Orjiakor said the proactive surveillance checks suggested that the products delivered to the filling stations might have been lifted from the depots that received the ‘methanol contaminated’ PMS consignment which entered the country last month.
He said samples had been collected from the outlets for laboratory testing and that in the meantime, they would not be allowed to sell the suspected unwholesome product to customers.
According to him, the downstream sector in Anambra is healthy, there is no bad product in circulation here.
“We track every truck coming into the state, we don’t have any NNPC depot facilities in Anambra; we crosscheck every product coming in through Enugu and Aba depots and with that we were able to discover four stations that received suspected adulterated PMS,” he said.
Orjiakor condemned the artificial increase in the price of PMS saying teams of the agency were on round the clock surveillance across the state to ensure marketers sold at the industry approved range of N162 and N165 per litre.
He said there was no official increase in the price of products at the depots and that marketers who flouted the price regulation and compromised their pumps would be made to face the law.
He however, said that product supply in Anambra was satisfactory in spite of the prevailing inadequacies in general supply adding that the agency was working to ensure that there was no scarcity.
Orjiakor said the NMDPRA was the only agency established by law to regulate the petroleum industry and warned any group including security agencies to stop going to filling stations to harass marketers in the name of enforcement.
The Operations Controller said, “we are the only regulator in Nigeria and we are doing it diligently, round the clock, no other organisation is authorised by law to regulate anything.
“Anybody doing so is on illegal duty and is not acceptable to us and can never be.
“Part of our strategy is that we enlighten marketers that we are the only organisation that regulate their activities and also tell them to stand up and tell these people that they don’t have the right, when they come to their outlets.
“However, in the course of activities we may have to call for their services but we must lead the team, nobody should threaten marketers.
“We are managing price control and product availability pending when the current supply gap is bridged and we are doing that with a blend of advocacy and enforcement,” he said.
Orjiakor said NMDPRA was serious on ensuring that marketers operated within the industry rules by using the right pumps and putting in place standard safety precautions with well trained staff.(NAN)