Stakeholders in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector have raised concerns over the difference in ‘error allowance’ for petroleum products approved by the Weight and Measure Department, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) respectively.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed that the permissible ‘tolerance level’ remained 60 milligrams for 10 litres of fuel and 30 milligrams for 10 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, different from the tolerance level provided by other government regulators.
Meanwhile, Zonal Chairman, System 2E of Petroleum Products Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Sunny Nkpe, pointed out that the DPR on their part approved a minimum of 300 milligram as error allowance for fuel and called for more collaboration and synergy between both bodies.
Speaking at a two-day sensitisation workshop with operators in the downstream oil and gas industry, the minister, represented by Mr Gbolahan Adamoh, Head of Oil and Gas, Department of Weight and Measures (WM) in the ministry said the department has discovered that many businesses, such as filling stations, recalibrate their metres and equipment to cheat the buying public.
He said that government was aware of such illicit activities by some service providers and assured that the department would enforce accurate use of weighing and measuring equipment for trade in the country.
He noted that the federal government had begun to clamp down on the use of faulty and altered measuring and weighing equipment by some business owners.
“We decided to meet with critical stakeholders in the downstream oil and gas sector and engage them to maintain accurate measurement of their metres while serving their customers.”
“We want customers to get full value for their money especially during this COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the economy of the country and made things difficult for Nigerians. We want a litre of fuel to be a litre, and kilogramme of whatever grain to be a kilogramme, so that Nigerians can get their monies worth,” he said.
The minister said that severe sanction was awaiting any business operator found to be using faulty and recalibrated equipment to defraud Nigerians.
He said that such individuals would have their filling stations and businesses sealed-off and made to pay huge sums of money as well as face jail term.
“We appeal to filling station operators and other business owners to visit our offices for verification and proper certification of their equipment for use for trade.
“The department is committed to protecting both the producers and consumers through fair and balanced trade transaction,” he added.
He warned stakeholders against the use of other measuring scales, saying that weight and measure department is the only body backed by law to regulate measuring scale in the country.