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Reps to investigate PPPRC, PPMC over discriminatory prices of petrol

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ON Wednesday, the Federal House of Representatives launched an inquiry into incidences of unfair prices of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited, PPMC, and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA according to a report.

The members of the House condemned both agencies for selling at different prices to marketers and independent marketers though they were obligated to sell at the same price to consumers.

In a motion, spearheaded by Odebunmi Olusegun representing Ogo-Oluwa Federal Constituency of Oyo State and Abubakar Hassan of Birniwa/Guri/Kiri-Kasamma Federal Constituency of Jigawa State they urged the House to curb the practice which they described as being unfair to independent marketers who pay more to get petrol.

The motion was tagged “Need to Check the Discriminatory Practices of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency against the Independent Petroleum Marketers on the Sale of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.”

It also questioned the PPMC which is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the distribution of petroleum products in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry for deviating from its core function by selling petrol to marketers at a different price.

In a related development, the Senate directed its Standing Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Gas to monitor the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, NGFCP, after a motion was submitted by Betty Apiafi, a Senator representing Rivers West Senatorial District.

She reiterated that oil and gas firms in the country flared 215.9 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of natural gas resulting in a loss of revenue of N197 billion.

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“Flaring of associated natural gas is quite simply burning money. In 2018 alone, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, oil and gas firms operating in the country flared a total of 215.9 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of natural gas amounting to a revenue loss of over N197billion,” she said.

She also expressed worry that since the NGCFP, was launched according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, gas flaring has been on the rise while the projected deadline to end routine associated gas flaring is slated for January 1, 2020.

“The year 2019 is coming to an end and there seems to be a lack of commitment to enforcing the laws on gas flaring, so it is very necessary for affirmative action to be taken through fines, penalties and alternative technology investments to achieve the 2020 date,” she said.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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