The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River has sealed 43 filling stations in the two states for engaging in illegalities.
Bassey Nkanga, DPR’s Controller, Operations, for the states, disclosed this at a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Calabar yesterday.
According to him, the affected filling stations were sealed between December, 2015 and January, 2016.
He said that some of the filling stations sealed would pay N1 million fine for the offence.
``They have not found it necessary to come and clear with the DPR, but the marketers were selling fuel with DPR seal order.
``If they are three seals on three of your pumps and you remove the three seals and cannot account for them, you will pay N1 million each for the seals,’’ Nkanga said.
He warned independent marketers not to violate DPR seal because the penalty regime for such violation was huge.
Nkanga observed that filling stations in Akwa Ibom and Cross River were yet to comply with the government approved pump price of N86.50 per litre of petrol.
He restated that the Federal Government had constituted a team to monitor activities in the petroleum downstream in the two states.
He appealed to IPMAN members to comply with Federal Government’s new pump price, adding that the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari was real.
Nkanga explained that one of the policies of government was to correct so many wrong things in the petroleum sector.
``This is why I have come to dialogue with you. IPMAN plays a highly significant role in this industry. It is through IPMAN the public gets petroleum products.
``I want to appeal to you that the rule set by the government is not so terrible, but it will become terrible if you fail to abide by this rule.
``Government has come out with policies that will not favour marketers that err or go against government rules.
``Government is also looking at some challenges you face, it is working positively to ensure that those challenges are surmounted,’’ he said.
Reacting, Mr Robert Obi, IPMAN Chairman Calabar, alleged that DPR allowed filling stations to operate without valid storage and sales licence in the two states.
``DPR should be held responsible for lapses. It is the responsibility of DPR to put a halt to the mess, it should live up to its responsibility,’’ Obi said.