The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said all petroleum depots selling petrol and other products above the approved ex-depot price will be sanctioned.
The minister, who briefed newsmen in Abuja, said: “We are aware that there are some depot owners who are taking advantage of the situation by increasing the ex-depot price.
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“I can assure you that there will be sanctions for any of those depots that continue to increase the ex-depot price as approved.
“We are going to deal decisively with anyone who tries to take advantage of this situation.”
The minister urged Nigerians to report marketers and depots selling at higher rates saying, “If we do not get the report, we cannot know what is going on or sanction them.”
He also said the rise in crude oil prices following the Ukraine and Russia tension was affecting petroleum products prices.
Sylva said: “Prices of crude oil went up exponentially beyond levels expected.
“As you all know, when crude oil prices rise to that level, it can also affect the derivatives of crude oil.
“Nigerians are suffering because of the high diesel prices, including everywhere else globally.”
With the high prices of diesel which is unregulated, Sylva said petroleum tankers are limited in lifting the available petrol from the depots which have aggravated the earlier supply gap of petrol across retail outlets.
The minister said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) are working to resolve the gap while the supply of products to Abuja is being increased.
He said, “We will continue to ensure that the situation is controlled.
“Queues are coming down in Lagos and other parts of the country. Very soon, this will be a thing of the past.”