The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Ibadan, says it has sealed 167 filling stations in Oyo State within 10 months for various infractions.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the DPR Operations Controller, Ibadan, Engr. Oluyemi Olaonipekun disclosed this on Tuesday in Ibadan during surveillance carried out by the management team of the agency.
Olaonipekun said it is pertinent for filling stations owners to adhere strictly to laid down rules and guidelines.
According to him, the reason for this exercise is to continue to monitor the activities of marketers both gas marketers and oil product marketers, that is filling stations within our area of operations, which is Oyo State.
“Between January and now, we have sealed 167 filling stations for various infractions; but majorly for safety and not having current operating licenses.
“Although, some of them are also sealed for offences such as under dispensing, and we sealed three today.
“Out of the three, two are sealed for not having an operating licence, while one was sealed because of under dispensing.
“The exercise will continue because we want to ensure that whatever you are buying at the forecourt is what you have paid for.
“We don’t want people to be shortchanged, that is why we are trying to ensure that we keep the tempo of duty going,” he said.
The Controller, however, sounded a note of warning to gas plant owners on safety practices to avoid disaster in the state.
“Now, why we continue to monitor gas plants also is that now people are using cooking gas more than before because kerosene is no longer that much available.
“So, as much as people are using the gas, we expect them to be aware of the safety implications not only for the gas plants owners but those that are buying gas for their consumption,” he said.
Speaking on retail gas filing outlets sited within the neighbourhood, the controller said: “What concerns us is the distance of the gas outfit to residential houses because there is a specific distance in Petroleum Regulatory and Guidelines.
“Once you abide by the specifications, it is okay, because selling gas cylinders within the neighbourhood is not approved, it is illegal and if anybody is caught doing that, there is a penalty for that.
“Transferring gas from one cylinder into another cylinder is illegal and we are clamping down on such activity too.
“We seize their cylinders when caught; it is also dangerous because you cannot assume that there won’t be an escape of gas into the atmosphere and if there are vehicles passing by or any other source of ignition around that area when you are doing the transfer of gas that is dangerous,” Olaonipekun said.
NAN reports that the surveillance was carried out within Ibadan metropolis and was led by the controller.
Other management staff that joined the controller on the exercise are Head of Operations, Mr Sadiq Danjuma, Head Corporate Services, Mrs Ini Osemeke and Mr Niyi Olowookere, Head of Gas, among others.