Unlicensed Fuel Marketers Have Only One Week to Remain in Business – FG
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has said fuel marketers yet to obtain licence have till June 1 to remain in business.
The agency further said it will begin to penalise erring operators or depots supplying petroleum products to the unlicenced marketers.
It disclosed this at a programme, tagged, ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement on Gas Utilisation in Nigeria’, held in Abuja on Monday, according to reports.
Speaking at the event, Ogbugo Ukoha, the executive director of distribution systems, storage, and retailing infrastructure, NMDPRA, warned that from June 1, 2023, anyone who wants to deal in petroleum products must obtain a licence.
“No licence, no loading. We still have like nine days to do the right thing and comply. As the scripture says, obedience is better than sacrifice. As a regulator, we prefer that people comply so that it doesn’t have adverse effects on your businesses,” he said.
“If there is no compliance, we can assure you from the authority that from 1st of June, there will be a ‘no licence, no loading’ [policy]. Any depot, any licensed operator who supplies petroleum products to an unlicensed facility, we will shut down that operator.
“I want to make a special appeal that anybody who wants to handle petroleum products in excess of 500-litre storage, is required to obtain a licence. Our licensing procedure includes going through what your equipment is, the distance, hazards, procedures, and everything.”
Ukoha also urged the operators to capitalise on the expanding prospects in the gas value chain by repositioning their energy demands to embrace gas derivatives.
He outlined the derivatives to include liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, autogas, propane, and butane, adding that investing in them would help protect against future global uncertainties that could arise from the supply of petrol and diesel.
Okoha said NMDPRA’s 12 gazetted regulations had defined the licensing regime, procedures, and standards for handling petroleum products, which when breached, posed increased risks.
Also speaking at the event, Farouk Ahmed, the authority’s chief executive officer (CEO), said the federal government had put in place various initiatives and policy frameworks, including the national gas expansion programme (NGEP), and the decade of gas initiative to deepen the use of gas in Nigeria.
“It is our hope that this engagement will create the necessary awareness and make the compelling case for industry operators to foster a compliance culture — which alone guarantees safer and sustainable facilities,” he said.
Ahmed said the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) has also established within the authority, the midstream and downstream gas infrastructure fund to catalyse gas investments.
“These efforts are yielding significant results, yet more collaborations and interventions are needed to improve domestic gas utilisation,” he said.
“The authority, empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, is poised to enable the growth of the industry.”