Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Imo State, on Frday, sealed six filling stations in Owerri and Ngor-Okpala for alleged over-pricing, under-dispensing and obstructing DPR officials’ activities.
It also sealed a cooking gas plant for allegedly operating without a proper license.
Briefing newsmen shortly after sealing of the stations, South East Zonal Operations Controller, Mr. Peter Ije, who led the operation, said the action was to ensure compliance with the government regulated price of N145 per litre of petrol.
“Our duty is to ensure that the government regulated price of N145 is complied with by the marketers, however that is not always the case , so we routinely go round to check their activities.
“We also check to see if they are shortchanging their buyers by under dispensing and then we ensure they adjust their meters properly after they must have paid the fines for their offences” Ije said.
The Controller also added that the department conducted the routine inspection to check hoarding of petrol by marketers of the product , maintaining that hoarders would be fined N200 for each litre of hoarded fuel.
He stated that the sealed stations would pay a fine of N100,000 for each operational fuel dispenser at the time the station was sealed, while violation of the seal would attract a fine of N1,000,000.
Ije further warned that serial defaulters would be prosecuted and may have their licenses revoked or goods auctioned.
He, however, vowed that the Department would continue to be vigilant to prevent illegal activities by petrol marketers in the state.
” Serial defaulters would be prosecuted and they could have their licenses revoked; we recommend that their operating license be revoked when we see that they don’t mind paying fines,” Ije said.