Oil marketers under the eagis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria have raised an eyebrow against Capital Oil and Gas Limited for threatening sanctions against the marketers over issues relating to products stored in its facilities and meant to be distributed across the country.
The association said it was illegal for a depot owner to sanction marketers who lift products from its tank farm.
It said the importation of petrol into Nigeria is largely handled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the product is stored in selected tank farms, adding that marketers wishing to buy the product make payments to the NNPC.
The management of Capital Oil had last week announced a ban on some oil marketers for allegedly collecting petroleum products from its terminal and reselling at prices above the stipulated rates set by the Federal Government.
Mr. Afam Ilounoh, Capital Oil’s Director, Media Services, had explained that the decision by his company was in order to save Nigerians from unscrupulous practices.
In reaction to the oil company’ threat, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, IPMAN, said it was, therefore, illegal for Capital Oil and Gas Limited to threaten sanctions against oil marketers over issues relating to products stored in its facilities and meant to be distributed across the country.
Okoronkwo said, “The DPR, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is the only body or agency of the Federal Government officially authorised to sanction or discipline errant oil marketers in Nigeria and not any individual or registered business organisation.”
He urged the NNPC and other regulatory agencies to caution the oil firm, stressing that Capital Oil had no legal standing to sanction independent marketers.
Efforts to contact Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Spokesperson for the NNPC, to get the corporation’s view on the issue were, however futile.
But Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, Chairman, Capital Oil, had said last week that his firm had discused with the independent marketers to set up a committee to check sharp practices among oil marketers.