The federal government has ordered the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to punish oil marketers who are ripping off consumers by raising petrol prices nationwide.
After President Muhammadu Buhari’s FEC meeting on Wednesday, Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, answered journalists’ queries.
Sylva, echoing INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, vowed that the present petrol shortage will not hinder poll operations.
He stated everyone would help supply the commodity.
We are very unhappy about this. Everyone plays. “As I indicated earlier, the ministry of petroleum is not in control of all the elements that lead to scarcity, such as forex troubles and other issues,” he said.
“But today, there is supply, but sadly, we are facing some difficulties with the distribution and movement of the product to various locations for now.
“NNPC Limited, NMDPRA, and marketers are doing everything.
“Everyone is working to fix this situation. Today, INEC briefed us and told us that NNPC will supply petroleum products to INEC without a difficulty. It won’t effect the election.”
Sylva also accused oil dealers of profiteering.
He promised to punish the guilty.
“We have complaints of marketers profiteering, and I have asked NMDPRA to prosecute anybody who profiteers in this kind of situation,” the minister stated.
“We cannot let marketers exploit our citizens. I gave that directive, however I don’t know if it worked.
I don’t know how far that directive was implemented. If so, I’ll repeat that order. We’re not ignoring it.”
Sylva claimed his ministry’s surveillance agency could only operate legally.
Laws exist. You know. This democracy has laws. “They can’t break the law,” he replied.
Regulators cannot break the law. Thus, only legal mechanisms can implement these regulations.
“I will direct NMDPRA further to guarantee that nobody profiteers on Nigerian citizens.”
Sylva said the council authorized N117 billion for the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and Research Centre.
“Council has granted a contract for the construction of the Oloibiri Oil Museum and Research Center to Messrs Julius Berger PLC at N117 billion and 30 months,” he stated.
It’s been a long time coming. President Shehu Shagari lay the foundation stone in the early 1980s.
So, this is a big milestone and is likely to be Mr. President’s legacy in the Niger Delta.