The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has set up a 24-hour special task force to supervise and monitor petrol sales at depots and stations.
It said the task force would sanction depots and stations selling above the recommended price.
Assistant Director, Public Affairs in DPR, Mrs Dorothy Bassey, disclosed this in telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, yesterday.
Bassey said the special team was set up purposely for the Yuletide with powers to take over the sale of the product from those selling above the approved price.
She said the agency had met with stakeholders to convey government’s displeasure on illegal sale of petrol above the stipulated price and the long queues at the filling stations.
The DPR warned that those involved in the criminal act would henceforth lose their licence under the new steps being taken by agency to enforce discipline.
She said: “We have instituted 24-hour surveillance by special task force which we are not going to disclose their identity because we don’t want them to be harassed”.
Bassey said those selling petrol above the pump price were doing so at night. She said any station caught would be forced to sell at the official price “so that we don’t seal them to compound the scarcity”.
She said the agency had some dedicated numbers on its website through which Nigerians could send their complaints.
Meanwhile, some marketers, who preferred anonymity, told NAN that the ongoing petrol scarcity would persist as government had failed to address issue of foreign exchange hindering fuel importation.
They said that marketers were willing to import fuel, but scarcity of foreign exchange remained a serious challenge.