By Daniel Alfred
FOLLOWING the routine check of adulterated oil products and illegal operation of depot facilities, the Department of Petroleum Resources DPR has sealed two depots including a filling station on the account of operating without an approved license issued by the Government.
The exercise took place yesterday by the DPR during its usual inspection tour to spot out illegal depot and filling stations operators in Lagos.
The affected companies are F&B oil and gas at Oduduwa Street, Victory Oil and Gas at Obanta close and African Petroleum, AP, apposite Leventis Motors all situated in Apapa. The AP filling station was sealed for illegal manipulation and distortion of petroleum pumps thereby dispensing products less than what they charge as pump price, which means that for every 10 litres of product paid for the customer ends up getting about eight litres.
According to the Acting Zonal Operation Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Abigail Akinkugbe she said some of the operators go on with there businesses without going through the right process.
“Some of them operates on there own and they don’t come to the DPR to get the necessary back up and license for operations. Unless we go around like this, we don’t get to find them and when we eventually find them, we will look through our records and if there names are not there then they are considered as illegal operations.” she said.
Every effort made to reach the depot and filling station owners proved abortive but did not stop the arrest of some of the staff who were in the custody of the Area B police command in Apapa.
“What will happen here is that if we are able to get the dealers, first of all we will arrest them because they are operating without our licence after which we will advice them on what to do and for residential areas like this, they are not allowed to operate a depot and we wouldn’t have given them license for that and for that we have decided to seal this place.” she further stated.
The Terminal, Depots and Jetties Operator, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, also added that on getting to F&B oil and gas in N0 4 Oduduwa street in Marina, they saw lots of thanks which DPR wouldn’t have given licence to operate. “These people are operating illegally and that was the reason we stormed the place. Most of these places you see here mix products.
They can buy Kerosene and Ago and because AGO is expensive, they can mix kerosene to settle the public which is very dangerous because it knocks cars and can break down engines. That is the reason we are forcing them to close up because it is an illegal activity. They don’t have DPR licence to operate.
DPR could not have licenced these depots situated in residential areas and that is the reason we ask them to show us there permit which they don’t have.”
“I don’t think they have Lagos state Environmental permit, this is a residential area and GRA and Lagos state cannot issue out such permit. For now those suspects arrested, we shall hand them over to the police because they are engage in illegal business. So the law enforcement agency should do there work on that aspect.”
“We advice Nigerians that if they see any person loading such products in residential areas, they should please report to the DPR and they will take appropriate actions to make sure that life is save. Speaking with Mr Ume Peter, a customer who was present at the AP filling station as at the time of closure, he noted he never believed his eyes and was very pleased to the right actions been taken by the DPR. “When I saw you people initially, I thought it was just the Nigerian kind of a thing but after measuring the whole metre and saw they where not Ok, right before me the place was sealed and for that alone, I was so impressed.