DPR closes 26 erring filling stations in Oyo
The Oyo State office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday warned petroleum marketers hoarding the product or selling above government approved prices to desist from the illegal act or risk six months suspension or revocation of their operating licences.
The Head of Operations for Ibadan Office, Sadiq Ibrahim, issued the warning yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, during an inspection, monitoring and enforcement across the metropolis.
His inspection team went tough on some independent marketers for allegedly selling petrol above approved pump price of N145 per litre.
It sealed up 26 stations across the state.
During a monitoring, some filling stations allegedly caught dispensing fuel for N165 and N180 at Olomi, Olunde, Odo Ona Elewe, Elebu and Orita Challenge areas of Ibadan were sealed up.
The affected stations include Solace Global Resources Limited, Olomi, RBK Global Petroleum, Olunde, Olojuoro Road, Deenbas International Limited, Iyana Sheu, Olomi, Nurdock Energy, Olomi Market and Foresee Golden Profile Limited at Odo-Ona Elewe.
Besides the affected filling stations, majority of independent marketers still dispensed petrol at N170 per litre.
All filling stations, except those of major marketers at Apete, Eleyele-Sango axis, were said to be selling the product between N165 and N180 per litre.
Major marketers, including Bovas and SAO Petroleum, sold petrol at N143 per litre to customers on long queues.
Addressing reporters after the monitoring, Ibrahim said DPR would not relent until the owners of filling stations complied with the directive of the Federal Government that the pump price of fuel remained N145 per litre.
He said: “We are here to carry out one of our official functions to ensure that all filling stations within our zone dispense petrol at the rate of N145 per litre. It is a routine job. Every filling station must, I repeat, must sell petrol at N145 per litre. Government has not increased the price. So, we cannot allow marketers to fix their price arbitrarily.
“Today, we have sealed four filling stations. We sealed three for selling above the pump price and one for absconding on hearing that we were on routine inspection, despite our record that they had fuel in their fuel dump.
“Till date, we have sealed about 25 filling stations. We have various penalties for erring filling stations. Whoever complied and paid the fee penalty, we’ll unseal the station. But that does not stop us from sealing the station again, if the same marketer commits the same offence or a similar offence.
“There is a sanction for stations that are notorious. But so far, we have not come across any in Ibadan. After sealing and unsealing a station and the station commits the same error or a similar offence, we will seal the station again.
“Petroleum marketers should comply with the present pump price at N145 per litre. That is just my advice to them. Failure to do that, we are going to take more drastic actions against them. It will not only be payment of fine. We are going to suspend the station from operating, ranging from three months to six months, even revocation of their operating licence. We have the power to do that.”
The station manager of Nurdok Energy, Mr AbdulAzeez Agbede, who was allegedly selling at N180, denied doing so, though his customers confirmed that he sold at N180.
He said: “I don’t know why they sealed up my station. I was not selling at N180; I sold it at N145 per litre. Those people you spoke with were lying.”