The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has fined over 20 oil marketing companies N2.5 billion for diverting about 162 trucks or roughly nine million litres of petrol between January and February.
Briefing journalists after a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday of all DPR operations controllers, spokesman for the department in Abuja, Mohammed Bulama Saidu, said it uncovered the massive diversion of products through its Special Intelligence Unit which was created to intensify surveillance.
The meeting was chaired by the DPR Director, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan.
Saidu said most of the products diverted were NNPC intervention products that did not appear on the manifest.
The products were meant to beef up supply at some locations but the marketers instead cornered the products elsewhere.
“The products so far diverted were from Kano NNPC/PPMC depot where one marketer, A. Y. Maikifi, diverted 115 trucks between December 2017 and January 2018 during the peak of the fuel crisis.
“Those trucks were specifically meant for intervention but they never got to any station because the station he claimed to be taking the trucks to do not exist. Our intelligence unit visited there and discovered that the land was not even cleared let alone a filling station existing there,” Saidu added.
He said the DPR’s major concern was that the diverted products were not in the manifest. “Were it not for the intelligence unit, there is no way DPR would have known such product existed let alone track them.”
Saidu explained that all the marketers found culpable have been fined N275 per litre (of product diverted) and N2.5 billion was the total penalty which the affected marketers would pay into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Some have paid up to 50 per cent while some are still pleading but until they finished payment, DPR will not lift the fine, he stated.
The other affected marketers with the highest fines include Shemraurat Fika, N265.3m for diverting 24 trucks (965,004 litres); Total Nigeria Plc N71.4m for diverting through non-existing Uralo Petroleum, Damaturu 5 trucks (259,986 litres) and Nushe Nigeria Ltd., N37m for diverting 3 trucks (135000 litres) of petrol.
According to the DPR, other marketers penalized were Bulasawa Petroleum Nig. Ltd, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd, NNPC Retail Ltd (Samao Ventures), MRS Oil Nigeria Ltd, Toniset Nigeria Ltd, Jimeta Oil & Gas Ltd and Advance Link Pet. Nigeria Ltd.
Also fined were Northbridge Energy Limited, Sarco Petroleum & Gas Ltd, Datum Company Nig Ltd and Ecco Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd.