By Ike Uchechukwu- Calabar
Following the persistent scarcity of Premium motor Spirit (PMS) in the country, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off six fuel stations in Cross River over diversion of the product and hike in price.
Mr. Bassey Nkanga, DPR Operations Controller in charge of Cross River, disclosed this to Vanguard shortly after sealing off the filling stations.
Nkanga told Vanguard that the stations were sealed within the last one week for violating government directives.
He explained that Dandy Oil and Willis Oil were sealed for diverting the product meant to be sold in the state, while Con Oil and three others were sealed for selling the product above the government approved price of N145 per litre.
He said that the intensified surveillance was carried out to ensure that the product released from the depot is sold to the public at the government approved price of N145 per litre.
His words: “In the past few days, we have embarked on an intensified surveillance to ensure that the product released to Cross River is sold in filing stations in the state and at the stipulated price.
“Some marketers were found to have aired; some diverted the product and were not able to account for it. We gave them a time grace and after that, we will conclude that they have diverted the product and sanctions will be meted on them.
“Any marketers who diverts the product will pay N200 fine on each litre diverted, if it is a whole truck, the marketer will pay N6million and those selling above government price will pay N100,000 as fine respectively.
“Some of the marketers have come to report that the alleged diverted products have reached their stations; we are going to monitor them and ensure that the product is sold at N145 per litre’’, he said.
Speaking further, he said that DPR in the state would soon start announcing the number of truck released to Cross River and the allocations so that the public can report back to them in case such products were diverted by marketers.
He also added that such effort was to ensure that the product meant for each fuel station in the state was delivered and sold to the public at the stipulated price.
He warned that:’’Marketers should respect the guidelines covering their operations. They should operate within the confines of the guidelines and ensure that those products given to them are sold to the public accordingly.
“The government is doing everything possible to bring normalcy in petroleum product supply and i wish to appeal to the general public to have faith in the government because efforts are on to ensure availability of the product across the country.