The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) sealed eight fuel and gas stations in Ondo and Ekiti State over alleged malpractices as well as other offences.
The operations Controller of DPR, Akure field office, Mr Adewale Oseni said the offences included the non-approval of gas skids from the agency, operating without a valid license, operating without safety equipment and under-dispensing of the petroleum products to unsuspecting customers. According to him, by such action, the stations concerned had made consumers pay more for smaller quantities.
He added that some of the filling stations were shut down due to failure to comply with the safety regulations. He said it was illegal for filling stations to operate without safety equipment, saying that the sealed stations would not be allowed to dispense petrol until they pay fines
. “The surveillance and monitoring activities were carried out to ensure that the retail outlet stations operate with valid DPR license, not under-dispensing, and to ensure they operate under safe conditions.
“In Ondo, we visited four gas plants, three refilling stations and one illegal. Out of the three refilling plants, two were operating without a valid license and they were sealed.
“We also observed some safety issues in another sealed one and we expect them to put in place all those safety equipment missing.
“They will have to re-arrange their house before allowed to operate again. “We also visited some retail outlets some of which are doing very fine, and the pump efficiency is very good.
“However, some of them did not have sand bucket or fire extinguisher and this serious safety issue.
“We don’t expect such petrol stations to continue to operate, so they were sealed and we are expecting that other order to remain in force until they put in place the safety measures and functional safety equipment, they will not be unsealed
. “Most importantly, we noticed a station where one of the trucks was discharging without any regard for safety by the dealer.
“They started discharging immediately the truck parked, instead of allowing for some hours for the product to balance before offloading,” he said.
Oseni also said a gas station was sealed up in Ikere-Ekiti due to the companies negligence to comply with the petroleum and gad regulations by not obtaining the necessary license.
he said, “When we got there, we found them selling and we said we would not allow that and we sealed it for the second time so that they will adhere to the rules and regulations.
“The affected gas station had been warned earlier, but its dealer did not heed the warning
. “What they have done is punishable under the law, so they will be made to bear the full weight of the law. DPR is the watchdog in the oil and gas industry and we shall continue to be the leading regulator, to ensure that Nigeria oil and gas industry remains safe. “We will also continue to protect the investors and the consumers as well as the general Nigerian populace using petroleum products in the country.