DPR warns marketers against sharp practices

Oil-Platform-projectExperts say non-passage of PIB may collapse oil sector
Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), yesterday warned petroleum marketers against engaging in sharp practices, which are capable of prolonging queues at filling stations in the country.

DPR Director, Modeciah Ladan, who handed down the warning in Abuja, said marketers have the obligation to dispense petrol at the recommended price.

Ladan urged all “Operators of petroleum product depots, filling stations as well as tanker drivers and other stakeholders, to desist from unwholesome activities of hoarding, diversion, adulteration and pump manipulation in order to avoid untoward hardship to motorists and the general public.”

According to him, the security agencies in collaboration with the DPR, have been mandated to arrest and prosecute any errant marketer involved in sabotaging government commitment to making petroleum products readily available to Nigerians.

He charged petroleum products marketers to operate within the laws and guidelines governing products sales and distribution.The director stressed that efforts are on, to ensure that petroleum products’ supply and distribution situation in the country is normalised.

Meanwhile, experts in the oil and gas sector have warned that the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may lead to the collapse of the sector.

This position was disclosed in Abuja yesterday, by former President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Brown Ogbeifun.

He identified the current challenges facing the Federal Government, to include the inability to finance cash-call obligations, falling oil reserves in the onshore oil fields and insecurity in the operating areas.

Another challenge he mentioned was the lack of effective mechanisms to monitor government stake in the Joint Venture (JV) arrangements. Ogbeifun, who spoke at the maiden edition of Save Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry, under the auspices of African Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and Responsible Leadership (AFRITAL), lamented the current challenges.

He added that this was coming 16 years after the oil and gas implementation committee (OGIC) was set up to reform the sector, noting that Nigeria has no political will to pass the PIB for better performance and efficiency.

He said that the current transformation initiatives could only be meaningful if obsolete and outdated laws were done away with in accordance with international best practices.

Ogbeifun also noted that divergent interests on the part of government and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) contribute in no small measure to the slow pace of growth in the industry.

According to him, while government is encouraging participation of indigenous companies for domestication of expertise, the IOCs are busy guarding their technologies and expertise from any perceived competition, including that of the host country.

President, and Director General of International Institute of Leadership and Governance, Paddy Njoku, blamed the preponderance of expatriate workers on the paucity of jobs, skills development, capacity building and utilization.



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