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PEF frowns at document falsification, unethical practices by petroleum marketers

Board of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) Board has concluded plans to sanction any oil marketer who engages in falsification of documents for the movement of petroleum products in the country. The board also hinted readiness to punish marketers’ who are involved in unethical practices.

PEF has also sanctioned 25 oil marketers for various offences aimed at defrauding the Federal Government through bridging claims. Their offences ranged from changing of truck heads without getting clearance from the agency, and tampering of tags affixed on trucks to the presentation of trucks with water (instead of petrol) at receiving depots by these marketers.

PEF is designed to balance payments and deliveries between closer and distant locations by bridging which is a temporary solution until the refineries were producing at full capacity.

Industry observers say the state of the refineries had worsened over the years, thus making PEF a lasting programme.

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According to guidelines on the operations of PEF, if a marketer is confirmed to have tampered with the marking tag when defaced, removed, relocated, transferred, or re-positioned would lead to the suspension of the marketer for a period of three months.

Marketer shall pay an administrative fee of N250,000 to be reinstated in the Board’s database. PEF further said the transaction of any marketer who presents empty trucks at the receiving depots shall be invalidated immediately, in addition to being suspended for three months.

Any marketer making claims on non-functioning outlets shall be suspended until the outlet is re-verified and confirmed to be functional. “Marketer shall be required to refund payments made while outlet was proven to be non-functional. The marketer shall pay an administrative fee of N250,000 to be reinstated in the Board’s database.”

Marketers using non-existing outlets to make claims from the Board shall be required to refund money paid by the Board through the non-existing outlet. With regard to selling above approved rates, the guideline stipulated that any marketer selling products above approved price shall pay a penalty fee of N500,000.

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