By Michael Eboh
abuja—The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, yesterday, raised the alarm that some unscrupulous marketers were using some NNPC retail outlets to defraud unsuspecting motorists through under-dispensing of petrol.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, DPR’s Zonal Operations Controller in charge of Abuja Zone, Mr. Abdu Misau Abba, said the agency was aware of efforts by the NNPC to ensure products availability at the right prices, but noted that some unscrupulous marketers were sabotaging the efforts of the NNPC.
He called on the corporation to check the activities of its marketers and ensure that those found wanting were called to order.
Abba was speaking on the backdrop of an NNPC Retail station in Wuse II, Abuja, operated by Iluobe Petroleum Limited, which was sealed by the DPR for the fourth time yesterday, for under-dispensing of petrol to motorists.
He said, “I want to appeal to NNPC, because they are using its name to cheat the public. We know NNPC is doing everything possible to make this product available at government controlled price.
“I want to appeal to NNPC not to allow a businessman that does not have conscience to continue using their names and logo to cheat the public. NNPC has to look into this issue and see how they can solve the problem, because we cannot continue to allow such marketers to operate.”
He explained that out every 10 litres purchased in the retail outlet, motorists are being cheated by two litres, translating to motorists purchasing the products at N181 per litre.
He said, “This station we have sealed four times. The last was done last week. We just opened it on Friday and they went back to the same action. What they normally do is that in the morning, they rectify the pumps, but, when they are sure that we are closed from work, they will just under-dispense.
“This is the worst under dispensing I have ever seen in my career. They are cheating the public —two liters in every ten liters they sell to the public — which translates to selling one litre of PMS at N181. We cannot just close our eyes and allow them continue with this sort of activity.
“What we are going to do now, we have sealed them severally and we have put penalties, which they paid and are comfortable paying, because they would eventually transfer the penalty to the public. We cannot continue to allow them to do that. This time, we would apply the maximum sanction. The station would remain sealed for the next four months, after which, we can now take a decision on them.”
He said the fact that the station had paid a sanction of N400,000 to the Federal Government’s coffers last week, did not deter the management of the company because they eventually transfer the sanctions to unsuspecting motorists that patronises them.
Abba commended members of the public for their collaboration and for providing information of fraudulent petrol stations to the DPR, vowing that the agency would continue to carry out its responsibilities of ensuring sanity in the industry.
He said, “We want to appeal to the public and thank them for their collaboration and information they normally give to us. We want them to continue giving us information and we want to assure them that DPR is alive to its responsibilities.
“It is not only that we would come out during the day, we would work both night and day time and also early in the morning, because that is the time the unscrupulous marketers carry out their nefarious activities of cheating the public.
“The public should bear with us and we want to thank them; let them continue to give us information wherever they feel cheated. We know there is fuel available everywhere, the only way they can cheat the public is by adjusting their pumps and DPR responsibility is to make sure the right quantity is being sold to the public at the correct price.”