The Department of Petroleum Resources said it had sealed off at least 55 filling stations in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in the past six weeks.
Some of the affected stations are the Total in Rumuomasi, Total on Ikwerre Road, Avina in Oil Mill, MRS in Garrison and Excelsis in Elelenwo.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr Bassey Nkanga, explained that the stations were shut for various offences, including under-dispensing of petroleum products to unsuspecting customers.
Nkanga, who spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt on Tuesday during the second day of a three-day surveillance tour of filling stations in the state, described the exercise as massive.
He explained that the shut filling stations were among over 500 visited by DPR officials in the past six weeks.
The DPR official pointed out that the aim was to enforce regulations in the downstream sector and also protect unsuspecting consumers from sharp practices by petroleum products’ dealers.
Nkanga stated that apart from under-dispensing of fuel, some of the filling stations were shut for hoarding of petroleum products, overpricing, pump adjustment and operating without licences.
He said, “Today, we are continuing our three-day inspection and surveillance of filling stations and other outlets to complement the gains that have been achieved in the last few weeks. Today (Tuesday) alone, we visited 40 stations out of which five were sealed off.
“The filling stations were sealed for under-dispensing, obstruction, operating without valid licences and workers abandoning their stations on sighting the DPR team. We will also take the surveillance outside Port Harcourt to places like Eleme, among other areas. It is a nationwide exercise and a continuous process.”
The DPR operations controller declared that those involved in under-dispensing of petroleum products would pay N100,000 for each of the pumps used in perpetrating the offence.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance with DPR regulations by marketers, adding, “We met with the marketers to inform them that we would not tolerate any form of non-compliance with regulations and any attempt to cheat members of the public.
“We warned them that such illicit activities would be resisted with severe sanctions meted to anyone caught defrauding Nigerians.
Source : Punch News