• Imports 38 cargoes of products
Ahead of the controversial deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil sector and desirous to pre-empt the possibility of sabotage by marketers and importers, the federal government has placed orders for large shipment of petroleum products.
Government has reportedly ordered for the importation of 90 cargoes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 28 cargoes of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and 10 cargoes of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). The consignments were imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Acting Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mr. Billy Agha who confirmed the development last week also confirmed that the mass importation was aimed at forestalling any plan by some interests to use the deregulation and its fallout as an opportunity to create artificial scarcity, especially during the forthcoming Muslim and Christian celebrations and the fact that deregulation was around the corner.
The DPR boss also read the riot act to importers who may be planning to sabotage the take-off to be warned, saying that they would be severely sanctioned.
He reiterated to the marketers that their roles in the products distribution chain are indispensable, but admonished them not to engage in any activities that will jeopardise government’s policy of deregulation of the petroleum sector.
”NNPC has indicated that their coverage of the market is premised on the fact that there may not be supplies coming from third parties, while assuring sufficient and robust supply of the indicated products within this critical period”, he added.
“It is our fear that in the event of not being able to flood the markets, as anticipated during the critical period, the supply chain will be affected which may lead to scarcity, hoarding of products, diversion and other associated ills of scarcity, the most notable of which is the reduced trucks load-out from the storage depots/facilities”, he pointed out.
Harping on the irreversibility of deregulation, he stressed that “deregulation would phase out monopoly and allow market forces to dictate the price”, the DPR boss cautioned against hoarding and diversion of products, noting that anybody caught in such act would be punished.
“The key players should get ready for deregulation and be ready to play a critical role so that it could be a success and all of us will move on to the promise land. There is no going back on the deregulation. The time I do not know, but what I know is that we are deregulating the sector. No going back. “We therefore appeal to all marketers to as a mater of fact have the interest of the public at heart, and to shy away from actions that are inimical to the successful deregulation of petroleum products in the country. The DPR would not hesitate to impose the necessary sanctions on the erring marketers found violating the laws,” he warned.