The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday sealed three filling stations in Owerri, Imo, for selling petroleum products above the approved pump price.
The filling stations were sealed by the DPR Zonal Operations Controller in Owerri, Mrs Roseline Wilkie, who led a monitoring team.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the filling stations sealed are Bonimas, Penoil and Check Nassa all along Owerri – Okigwe Road.
Wilkie said the team would continue regular monitoring of filling stations in the state to enforce complaince with government directives in dispensing petroleum products.
“We are here to ensure that there is availiability of good quality petroleum products – no adulteration – and that the filling stations (the operators) are selling within the approved government price.
“We will continue to carry out the inspection of the operators to make sure they have the right products right from the depots, and that the pumps are within the correct approved range,” she said.
The Zonal Controller said the office would sanction any defaulting station.
She warned consumers to desist from buying black market products but report issues of infractions to DPR offices, saying that they would always follow up complaints to logical conclusion.
Mr Bright Ogbeni, Assistant Director Operations, DPR, Owerri, said the sealing of the stations was in line with the DPR headquarters’ directive to ensure that the dealers dispensed petroleum products in the right quantity, quality and within the approved price bound.
He said the surveillance involved checking the quality and quantity of the petroleum products with measurement scales/equipment taking of samples, adding that any station that failed to meet the expectations of the government would be sanctioned.
Ogbeni said the office monitored 21 filling stations including Coisco Nig. Ltd., Cocean, Ebere Links, Bonimas, Penoil, MRS and Check Nassa.
He said the monitoring involved checking for hoarding of the petroleum products, product availability, quality and quantity, enforcement of government approved petroleum prices and checking of consumer protection and safety.
Some of the managers of the filling stations, who were surprised by DPR’s visit, promised to always comply with the directives on sales of products.
READ ALSO: CSOs kick against N212 pump price hike
Mr Ifunanya Asiluka, Manager of Cocean situated along Owerri- Okigwe Road, commended the monitoring team for the oversight function.
Mr Andrew Akwuoha, Manager of Bonimas whose filling station was sealed, said he would report back to the management of the company for adequate response.
Some motorists interviewed expressed satisfaction with DPR for the surveillance and urged them not to relent but make it a continuous exercise.
They said Imo residents were suffering in the hands of petroleum dealers as they were made to buy petrol as high as N250 per litre contrary to government approved pump price.
Dr Emma Esemonu and Mrs Victoria Ebeke commended DPR for the move and hoped that the operators would not revert to the high price and readjustment of their meters.
Ebeke said the pump price had fluctuated between N175 and N250 in the past weeks, urging the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of petroleum products to within the reach of the common man. (NAN)