The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Port Harcourt office, says pump adjustment and under dispensing of petrol by filling stations in Rivers have reduced in recent time.
Mr Bassey Nkanga, the DPR’s Operations Controller in Port Harcourt Zone, disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday during the department’s surveillance on filling stations in Eleme, Nonwa and Oyibo areas.
reports that the DPR sealed five filling stations on Tuesday for various offences, bringing to 61 stations shut from 542 outlets visited in the last six weeks.
Nkanga noted that there was significant improvement in pump efficiency in petroleum outlets, particularly in Port Harcourt.
“The rate of pump adjustment, under dispensing and sales of adulterated petrol has reduced drastically in Port Harcourt and environs.
“We are impressed with the level of compliance by marketers in Rivers, following our meetings with them.
“The department has been telling them that they need to operate within the confines of guidelines and regulations.
“So, we are happy that many of them have heeded our call by not indulging in malpractices that are inimical to the growth of the nation’s economy,” he said.
Nkanga said the decline in sharp practices by the marketers, followed engagements by the DPR and penalties meted out to defaulters.
He, however, said that the DPR was worried by the increasing number of abandoned filling stations in the state after acquiring of permits for their operation.
According to him, the Federal Government frowns at such development due to the negative effect it has on the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“So, it is a law in DPR that once an operator is granted licence such filling station must be operational.
“If any marketer abandons his station, the department may decide not to renew the licence the moment such permit expires.
“However, we are aware that there are stations that are closed because they have cases in court. Also, there are others which closed shop due to low patronage,” he said.
Nkanga cautioned operators against tampering with stations sealed, adding that doing so contravened DPR’s guidelines and regulations.
He also warned that any marketer found flouting the rule would pay N1 million fine with the offender’s licence revoked.
“Also, there is no guaranty that after paying the fine the filling station will be unsealed and returned to the owner.
“In some cases, we go as far as handing the offender to security agencies for further investigation and prosecution,” he added.
Edited by Ejike Obeta
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