OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives adhoc committee on Review of Pump Price of Petroleum products on Thursday ordered Knight Templers Ltd to pay N246million owed Petroleum Equalization Funds (PEF) between August and November, 2017.

The committee also accused oil marketers of hoarding Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as a way of instigating product scarcity being experienced across the country, saying it decided to place a search light on the companies to make sure products are available and sold at the government approved price of N145 per litre.

According to the chairman of the committee, Mr. Raphael Igbokwe (PDP, Imo), “we want to make sure that the products government sells to them, they take it into the system and it is distributed and the product is made available and affordable to Nigerians.

“The reason why there’s scarcity is because people take these products under different names that do not exist nor can be traced, hoarding and selling beyond the government recommended price. As representatives of the people it is our responsibility to protect the interest of the ordinary Nigerians and if we see anybody engaging in any form of sharp practices to destabilize the system or economy of this country then we need to take it up with such person.”

The committee directed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure strict compliance of sales of products by independent marketers to retailers which would in turn ease the queues in filling stations.

The committee in same light summoned the Managing Directors (MDs) of Virgin Forest Energy Ltd and DutchMasters Petroleum to explain the whereabouts of products picked up by them from the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC). They are also expected to respond to charges of evasion of taxes and withholding of revenue due to the federal government of Nigeria.

Mr. Igbokwe further directed the Nigeria Police to apply to the court for arrest warrant of DutchMaster’s MD in the event of his refusal to appear on Wednesday, 20th of December, 2017.

“The MD of Virgin Forest is to appear showing records of their possession of DucthMasters Ltd liabilities and we want clarification on all transactions relating to two companies”, he ruled.

Knight Templers Ltd which also appeared before the committee could not explain adequately for non-payment of 25,000 metrics tons of products amounting to N246million owed Petroleum Equalization Funds (PEF) between August and November, 2017.

The committee also accused Knight Templers of hoarding the said products because they could not produce documents showing the distribution and sales of the products.

The committee in ruling on the matter ordered Knight Templers to pay the said sum of N246 million to PEF within two weeks. It is also directed DPR to urgently monitor and inspect the distribution of the supposed hoarded products in the custody of MAO Ltd on behalf of Knight Templers.

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