In order to enforce the usage of Point of Sale devices and the acceptance of bank transfers at the various outlets, the Federal Government started deploying security agents to gas stations around the nation on Thursday.
It pledged to deal with gasoline marketers who refuse consumer bank transfers or PoS machines, stating that the action was necessary in light of reports that some gas stations were responsible for this development despite the severe cash constraint that the country was experiencing.
The cash shortage has, however, hampered the oil marketers’ business in a variety of ways, preventing them from being able to resupply in some cases, they said our correspondent.
The government’s directive to marketers came through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, in a statement issued in Abuja by the agency’s General Manager, Corporate Communications and Stakeholders Management, Kimchi Apollo.
The statement read in part, “It has come to the attention of the NMDPRA that some retail outlets are not accepting the use of Point of Sale machines at their filling stations due to the recent cash crunch brought about by the new naira design.
“The authority frowns at this recent behaviour which is causing untold hardship for Nigerians at a time when all hands should be on deck to assist the government in the transition to the new naira.
“All retail outlets are directed to ensure the free use of POS and bank transfer for the sale of petroleum products to alleviate the suffering of customers at this critical time.”
The NMDPRA said it would work with law enforcement agencies to enforce the use of POS machines and acceptance of cash transfers at retail outlets, stressing that oil marketers who flout the directive would be dealt with.
“The authority and security agencies will be at retail outlets to ensure compliance with this directive and any filling station found violating this directive will be duly sanctioned.
“We reassure the general public of our commitment to ensuring good quality service in the sale and distribution of petroleum products nationwide,” it stated.
But the Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, told our correspondent that cash crunch was also affecting marketers.
“This naira scarcity could also be a factor contributing to the queues in many filling stations. If there was enough naira, the service to customers in retail outlets would be faster, but people hardly get money to go to the market, not to talk of filling stations,” he stated.
He added, “And it is important to state that the cash crunch is affecting both the oil marketer and the customers of our products. There is no cash, you can’t travel to perfect some transactions, even the Internet services are not functioning as expected. You encounter difficulties when trying to make transfers.”
Debo Ahmed, the National President of IPMAN, had stated on Wednesday that efforts were being made to reduce line-ups around the nation.
Following a meeting between the National Executive Council of the organization and the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited on February 7, 2023, the national oil company pledged to put aside 140 million liters of PMS for independent marketers, according to a note he sent to IPMAN members.