The Federal Government, represented by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has issued a stern warning to fuel station operators found guilty of tampering with their petroleum pumps.
Farouk Ahmed, the Executive of NMDPRA, made this announcement during a recent meeting with commissioners of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Abuja, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Petrol stations caught dispensing fuel with manipulated pumps will face severe consequences, including the potential revocation of operating licenses, temporary suspension, or even complete shutdown, depending on the severity of the violation, according to Ahmed.
The widespread practice of adjusting petroleum pumps by fuel station operators has raised significant concerns within the oil regulatory bodies and the Federal Government.
Ahmed also disclosed that NMDPRA has been dispatching its personnel to filling stations across the country to conduct on-the-spot inspections and determine whether their fuel pumps have been tampered with.
"What we are doing now is that we have some of our staff going round to take on-the-spot checks of some of the petrol stations.
"If you drive into a station, drive out, you will not know if you have been cheated until you do a measurement. Sometimes we do a physical measurement where we go to some stations and buy one litre, look at that environment to see whether that one litre is really one litre. Then we will know whether or not they have tampered with the pump", he said.
Furthermore, the head of NMDPRA emphasized the ongoing collaboration with the RMAFC to boost revenue for the federation.
"We have started the engagement but this is just a formal collaboration on areas where we can improve the revenue generation for the federation. There are two areas we have to look at which are either to generate revenue or cut costs."
Bello Shehu, the Chairman of RMAFC, highlighted the purpose of the partnership, which is to strengthen revenue generation and monitor the activities of fuel station operators.
"We are here in order for them to enlighten us on what they do and what we can do as a commission to assist them to better boost revenue generation for Nigeria.
"We are interested in what the authority does to enable us to monitor better and know the right questions to ask, which will enable us to provide appropriate information."
Ahmed also encouraged Nigerian citizens to consider investing in the midstream sector of the economy.
He assured that those seeking to invest in this sector could rely on NMDPRA for relevant guidelines and policies.
Additionally, NMDPRA can provide guidance on suitable investment areas and assist in determining the associated costs.