By Muhammadu Sabiu
Seven private depots were closed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for selling gasoline above the N148 per litre permitted by the federal government.
Independent petroleum marketers had complained in recent months that they were purchasing the product from private depots for more than N200 per litre, making it impossible for them to sell the commodity at the government-approved price.
The Authority’s Chief Executive, Engr. Farouk Ahmed, said the depots would be closed until a decision was made on how to proceed while speaking to journalists on New Year’s Eve in Abuja.
Among the companies, he identified were Ardova, Rainoil, TCL, Bluefin, and NEPAL.
According to Engr. Ahmed, two of the depots are in Lagos, two are in Warri, one is each in Oghara, Port Harcourt, and Calabar.
He reassured customers that the closure would not affect the availability of petrol around the nation, stating that there would be enough fuel for about 30 days.
He said that in an effort to lessen fuel shortages, the authority had many discussions with marketers on how to address supply issues that operators were having.
He also noted that certain privately operated depots were found to continue loading the commodity above the government-approved price, despite having obtained the cargo under favourable circumstances.