The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed over 20 filling stations in Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states.
In Katsina State, over eight filling stations were sealed over alleged diversion of fuel and selling above the recommended pump price of N145.
Briefing newsmen after routine inspection of filling stations in parts of the state, yesterday, DPR Area Operations Manager, Yusuf Shehu, regretted that the affected filling stations could not account for various quantities of fuel supplied to them.
“The DPR will continue to monitor fuel sales in the state, with a view to ensuring that fuel stations comply with the DPR guidelines on distribution and sale of fuel,” Shehu said.
He disclosed that the affected stations will remain shut until they meet the necessary requirements.
From its Kaduna office, the DPR sealed eight filling stations over various offences ranging from hoarding to tampering with dispensing fuel pumps.
Addressing newsmen after monitoring activities around Kaduna, Head of DPR Downstream Monitoring and Operations, Yahaya Maishara, said the fuel scarcity being experienced across the country is “because of panic purchase and hoarding by some of the marketers.”
According to Maishara, who is also deputy manager and head of Downstream team, he led a monitoring team on a tour, to appraise the fuel supply and sales situation within Kaduna town.
The team visited some petrol stations including NIPCO, Kawo, B and S Bulasawa along Zaria Road and Mobil at Luggard Roundabout.
“The common observations were hoarding and pump under-dispensing. Stations found hoarding were forced to open for sale and the ones under-dispensing were forced to repair or adjust accordingly.
“We realised that many were selling but hoarding was a major issue. We checked one tank and we discovered that it has 5,500 litres but they were not selling. The pump integrity was tampered with. We sealed the station.”
Maishara warned marketers to abide by the rules and regulations guiding product supply and sales and added that any marketer caught violating regulations would be sanctioned appropriately.
Also, DPR’s Kano Field Office said it has sanctioned eight filling stations in the state for committing various offences.
DPR Acting Operations Controller, Paul Jhezi, disclosed this to journalists, after inspecting some filling stations in the metropolis, yesterday.
He said some of the affected filling stations were sealed while others were fined, based on the gravity of the offence.
“Some of the filling stations were found selling the product above the approved government price while others were caught diverting the product.
He said the department has, so far, inspected no fewer than 166 filling stations in three days, as part of efforts to ensure that distribution and sales at the filling stations complied with laiddown regulations.
“The essence of the going round the filling stations is to ensure distribution is going on as well as selling of the product at the approved government price of N145 per litre,” he said.
He said the officers of the agency would continue to monitor the activities of the filling stations with a view to ensuring that they are selling the product to members of the public.
He warned that any marketer or filling station found diverting or selling above the approved price, would be sanctioned.
Jhezi, however, commended the Kano depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation for increasing the number of trucks of fuel being supplied to the city, which he said hasassisted greatly in checking scarcity.
“The long queues of vehicles have since disappeared from the filling stations due to the increase in the number of trucks being given to Kano.
“We used to have between 20 trucks and 24 trucks daily but now, NNPC has increased it to between 39 trucks and 44 trucks daily,” Mr. Jhezi said.