The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is coming hard on petroleum marketers for making life difficult for the public.
The DPR had on Wednesday announced the setting up of a 24 hour surveillance team to monitor petrol stations and depots nationwide to ensure unhindered sale of petroleum products at government regulated prices.
Less than 24 hours after the announcement, the agency has ordered the sealing of the depots of Total Oil Plc, Eterna Oil Plc and De Jones Oil and Gas Limited for hoarding fuel.
Total and Eterna Oil were discovered to have hoarded 13.6million litres of the product respectively, while De-Jones diverted 19.5million litres of fuel.
The agency said such actions were seriously frustrating efforts of the federal government to wet the country with sufficient levels of the product.
Also in Jos, the Plateau State capital yesterday, the department sealed 23 fuel stations for various offenses, and advised the general public to stop patronising illegal fuel stations as well as road side fuel sellers in the State.
The sealing of the fuel stations was carried out during an unscheduled visit to fuel stations within Jos Bukuru metropolis led by the State Operation Comptroller, Mr Caesar Douglas.
Mr Douglas, while briefing newsmen after the operation, pointed out that the department had carried out its statutory duty by monitoring sales of fuel in the State.
In his words “Our outing yesterday is so revealing, there are some marketers doing illegal business with the PMS, they have been cheating innocent Nigerians, they have been dousing the general public and we had no option than to seal their stations.”
In the State, out of which there are 16 licensed marketers and seven unlicensed marketers. They will be penalised for hoarding fuel, selling above government price, diversion of their allocations and operating without license.”
“We sealed 11 stations for selling above government pump price; we sealed five for diversion of fuel, seven for selling without license, and one for hoarding fuel.”
He said, “All these various offenses go with their respective penalties, for those selling above government price, your station will be sealed for a month, you will pay a fine of N100,000.00. For those caught hoarding the product, we consider that as economic sabotage and it goes with severe punishment, you will pay a fine of two million naira, the station will be sealed for two months.