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DPR shuts 23 filling stations in Edo over alleged sharp practices

By Gabriel Enogholase

BENIN—AGAINST the backdrop of fuel scarcity in Edo State, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has disclosed that it has sealed 23 filling stations in the state for alleged sharp practices.

File photo: DPR official sealing a fuel station

This is just as the state Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Makinde Ayinla, said the agency is collaborating with the DPR to check malpractices among oil marketers.

DPR disclosed that three of the stations were sealed on Friday for dispensing premium motor spirit above the official pump price of N145, explaining that one of the stations, FU Alohan, located on Sapele Road in Benin, was shut down for selling a litre of petrol at N260.

It was gathered that workers fled the premises when DPR officials, led by the State Operations Controller, Mr. Maynard Oriaifo, and the Head of Gas, Mr. Ogbe Godwin, arrived.

Asotime, also located on Sapele Road, and Faith in God on Upper Sakponba Road, were also sealed for dispensing at N234 and N250 per litre, respectively.

Oriaifo said that officials of the agency had been deployed to other parts of the state to monitor compliance with the directive of the Federal Government on the sale of PMS at the approved price.

He also warned that the erring independent marketers would face the consequences of their actions, if the seals were broken without authorisation.

He said: “What we have observed today is that the product has started coming in and most of the marketers are selling at N145. We also observed that some stations, like Faith in God, were selling at N250.

“Immediately, they (workers) saw us, they ran away. So, we did not have any other choice than to seal the station. The essence of this is that it would serve as a deterrent to other marketers.”

However, Vanguard observed that many of the major marketers did not dispense the product as they claimed not to have any in stock. However,   long queues were sighted at the NNPC mega filling station on Sapele Road, where PMS was sold at N143.

Residents,who spoke to Vanguard decried the refusal of the fuel attendants to sell the product to him, using his generator.

But the head of the station, who did not want to be mentioned, explained that some residents who bought PMS with their generators later sold the product in the black market.

“Have we done wrong to vote for the APC government. I saved to buy a cow from January to December and I brought my generator to buy fuel for me to freeze my cow. But the girl (fuel attendant) refused, said an aggrieved resident.

But the head of the station, who did not want to be mentioned, explained that some residents who bought PMS with their generators later sold the product in the black market.

But Oriaifo advised the residents that desist from panic buying, including the purchase of petrol with their generators.

He said, “We hopefully believe that, by tomorrow, the state will have enough products so that there would not be queues. They (residents) should stop panic buying.

“For safety reasons, they do not need to go the stations with their generators because fire could occur at any time.”

 


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.