The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday sealed six petrol filling stations owned by some independent marketers in Minna, for allegedly selling petrol above the regulated price.
Abdullahi Jankara, Niger Controller, DPR, announced this after closing them down, alleging that they sold PMS at N90 and N92 as against the approved N87 per litre.
Jankara said it was no longer business as usual for marketers who continued to cheat unsuspecting members of the public in the name of serving them.
He warned marketers who were not ready to follow the laid down guidelines and procedure to go into other businesses.
``Some filling stations in Minna are not selling petroleum products at the government approved price while those who claimed to be selling at the approved price have adjusted their pump.
``Most people still believe that they can do things in the old way in the distribution of fuel; all the independent marketers in Niger State do what they like but DPR will not allow it.
``If you are not ready to do business in line with the procedure and guidelines, leave and go into another business.
``The era of illegality is gone,’’ he said.
He explained that the measure was in line with the Federal Government’s effort to effect positive change in the system and to make petroleum products accessible and affordable to the people.
According to him, ``DPR would comb every nook and cranny of the state to ensure that stations are selling at government approved price.’’
He said that the DPR would collaborate with security agencies in the state to ensure that the business is done in line with the laid down guidelines and procedures.
He said that the clamp down was a continuous exercise.
``We will ensure effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure everything is done according to laid down regulations and soon, the dark days of oil marketers exploiting citizens in the state would be over,’’ he said.
Commenting on the issue, Mohammed Lukman, Financial Secretary, IPMAN, North Central, said that the marketers were doing their best to ensure the products were sold at the regulated prices.
Lukman said that they bought their petroleum products from private depots who sold above government regulated prices.
``We are not sabotaging government policy; we are selling what we buy.
``We buy from private depots who sell the product to us between the rates of N87 and N89. This problem is not Niger State alone, it is all over,’’ he said.
He commended the effort of the DPR in bringing sanity to the petroleum sector and appealed to government to ensure that most approved depots sold products at regulated price.
``If government can ensure that we are given the products at regulated price, we will sell at the regulated rate.
``If not, we will have to close shop until we can get the approval to sell the product at the rate which we bought because we cannot do business at a loss,’’ he said.