From Ignatius Okpara, Awka
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) at the weekend sealed four filling stations in Anambra state, South East Nigeria, over alleged involvement in fuel diversion.
Similarly, operators of two other outlets were reprimanded for selling the product above the official government pump price of N145.
African Examiner reports that fuel sells for between 185 to 220 per litre in the state since December till date, just as officials of DPR forced five other stations to sell the product at the government approved price.
Mr. Linus Ikegbunam, Head of Safety, Environment and Health Department, DPR, who led a five-man enforcement team, to monitor fuel stations in the state, told newsmen on that the sanctioned marketers were suspected not to have discharged products meant for their stations accordingly.
He disclosed that the affected stations had the product designated for them as contained in their manifest, adding that the agency is worried over the rising cases of product diversion, especially at this period of supply challenges, assuring that the organization was ready to combat the problem.
The DPR official, however, wondered why a marketer who procured as much as between 40,000 and 50,000 litres of petrol would not sell to the people rather divert them to other locations.
According to him, the sealed stations would remain closed until investigations were concluded on them, warning that those found culpable would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Ikegbunam insisted that “selling above government approved price of N145 is an offence and that is why we enforced compliance at some stations. Those who are habitual offenders were also sealed and penalised,.
But some of the affected marketers in their reaction said it had been extremely difficult for them to procure products in the last two months, making it impossible to sell at the government approved price.
The affected stations are located in the commercial city of Onitsha, Nkpor, Nnewi, and Awka, the state capital.
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Author: African Examiner