The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has stated that it apprehended two persons for product diversion in Delta State.
This was stated by Victor Ohwodiasa, NMDPRA’s coordinator in the state when he led a team from the authority on an unscheduled inspection visit to some depots in Ifiekporo, Delta, on Thursday and Friday.
Ohwodiasa said the apprehended persons have been made to face the full wrath of the law.
He assured Nigerians that the petrol scarcity being experienced in parts of the country will soon end, following the regulatory agency’s intervention.
Ohwodiasa said a lot of vessels laden with petrol were already coming into the state.
He said NMDPRA would ensure that the vessels discharge products as quickly as possible.
“We will ensure that the depots receiving these products lift them out to the end users,” he said.
“By the time we have all the depots wet with PMS and they are lifting regularly, the looming scarcity we are experiencing will disappear.”
Further speaking on the essence of the visit, the agency’s coordinator said it was to ensure that depots with the products dispensed to licensed retail outlets, eliminate middlemen and also avoid diversion.
“Once we get our daily manifest, we send our men out to make sure that those trucks get to their actual locations,” he said.
“There might be one or two infractions; we have apprehended about two persons for product diversion and they were made to face the full wrath of the law.
“As a regulatory authority, saddled with the responsibility of regulating the midstream and downstream of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, we will continue to do what we need to do.
“This is to ensure that the products are available and adequately and fairly distributed within Delta and neighboring states.”
Ohwodiasa said the NMDPRA would carry out intense routine surveillance, adding that it would sustain the tempo to ensure that appropriate actions were taken against defaulters.
He urged Nigerians to stop panic buying, assuring that the federal government was doing everything possible to ensure availability of petroleum products in the country, particularly during the yuletide season.
Ohwodiasa added that the NMDPRA would ensure that the products get to the consumers at the right price, quality and quantity.
Meanwhile, some of the depots visited are Matrix Energy Group, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and AYM Shafa Limited.
States across the country are currently experiencing a dwindling petrol availability which has seen the product sell for as high as N350 a litre and negatively impacting commuters.
On Wednesday, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had stated that the distribution crisis was caused by the vandalism of oil infrastructure belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
However, NNPC had said it had adequate products, adding that a 24-hour operation had commenced in strategic depots to ensure adequate distribution of petrol.