The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has hinted that the Federal Ministry of Justice would gazette three new regulations, this week, to enhance the authority’s capacity to curb fuel overpricing by marketers.
The Guardian reported that the Authority Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, issued this warning in Abuja, on Monday, at a stakeholders’ consultation forum on midstream and downstream petroleum regulations.
He also revealed that the Authority is monitoring supply nationwide to end queues at petrol stations as quickly as possible.
He said, “We are monitoring the situation and discussions are also ongoing. The Authority has to be circumspect in wielding the big stick, otherwise the situation could exacerbate.
“However, the Authority will not shy away from sealing depots and suspending licenses, including total revocation. All these options are on the table and can be deployed at any time.
“Everybody that is operating within the value chain must be careful not to incur the wrath of the law. The Authority sealed seven depots in the last few weeks for overpricing,” he said.
The NMDPRA boss, who was represented by Executive Director (Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure), Ogbugo Ukoha, hinted that the Federal Ministry of Justice would gazette three new regulations, this week, to enhance the authority’s capacity to deliver on its mandates.
While charging stakeholders to be mindful of their conduct, he said there are consequences for bad operational behaviours, adding that the regulations would give the Authority further bite towards enforcing rules.
He also revealed that plans are underway to establish a national strategic stock nationwide, which will provide a buffer whenever there are product shortages.
He stated, “Section 181 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) compels the Authority to develop strategic stock to ameliorate supply issues that come up during emergencies, such as floods and blockage of roads, as we witnessed recently. The planned strategic stock that will be established across the country would have been able to mitigate that if we had some.
“So, this regulation will empower the Authority to get this done. The regulation will also address the shortage of products, even though there are storages across the country but not enough. This regulation will assist the country to maintain product availability countrywide.”