The Department of Petroleum Resources on Wednesday warned petroleum marketers not to under-dispense products and engage in other sharp practices in the downstream.
Antai Asuquo, Operations Controller, DPR, Warri Zonal Office, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Warri.
Asuquo said that DPR, a regulatory agency, would sanction any outlet that shortchanges petroleum consumers.
According to him, the whole essence of deregulation is to widen the market to attract investors into the downstream business.
“It will not make any economic sense for a marketer to under-dispense because the market is now competitive.
“Customers now have choices to patronise outlets with cheaper pump price and accurate dispensing meters.
“The marketers have been given liberty now to fix prices based on market forces but to under dispense is total violation of the rules and regulations of the DPR.
“People are very price sensitive, the elasticity of price is very high, if your price is not good and you are under-dispensing, customers will abandon you.
“DPR will place heavy sanction on any petroleum outlet that under-dispenses,” Asuquo warned.
The DPR operations controller advised marketers to look beyond profit making and render some free services including wiping of car windscreens to attract customers.
“The market is very competitive. If you want to be in the business, you must dispense accurately.
“The focus should not just be profit only. They should also go out of place to render some services to customers such as wiping vehicle glasses among others; that is the attraction,” he said.
Asuquo said that DPR would continue to carry out its routine surveillance to ensure that marketers abide by the rules and regulations of the regulatory agency.
“We go out often to check their dispensing meters, quality of product and other safety facilities.
“They may dispense accurately, maybe to reflect our presence, when we live they could also adjust same pump to under-dispense,” he said.
Asuquo appealed to the public to alert the DPR whenever they notice any shortchange in their transaction for appropriate action.