Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has frowned at bulk buying and price hike of petroleum product by depot owners operating at the Calabar tank farms.
Speaking during a familiarisation tour of downstream facilities in Calabar zone over the weekend, the department’s Head of Petroleum Downstream, Mrs Ijeoma Onyeri, said such illegal deals create artificial scarcity and panic buying.
Mrs Onyeri warned that the department would impose strict sanctions on oil depot owners operating at the Calabar farms if they fail to desist from selling petroleum products to bulk buyers and hiking product price.
She explained that her familiarisation tour of the downstream facilities in Calabar zone was to ensure that the depots were working in line with the Health and Safety Environment (HSE) compliance and the stipulated guidelines.
“DPR frowns at bulk buying and price hike of petroleum product. Any depot caught in such illegal deals intended to creates artificial scarcity and panic buying would be sanctioned,” she said.
“They are the ones responsible for diversion and hoarding of the product. DPR takes it seriously and any defaulter is given strict sanctions depending on the various category of infractions.”
Also speaking, the DPR’s Operations Controller in Cross River, Mr Bassey Nkanga, said the exercise was carried out with a view to ensure that there were fire outbreaks or explosions in any of the depots.
DPR, Nkanga said, places premium on the safety of depots and its staff, saying that his office was working tirelessly to ensure that safety facilities within the depots and their jetties were up to date and functional.
“From what we have seen so far, I must say that the level of HSE compliance is high and we are very happy with that.”