From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Eight petrol stations were sealed in Enugu on Monday by the Enugu Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) above the government-approved pump price.
Confirming the sealing of the stations, the DPR Head of Operations, Mr Afam Azuike, disclosed that the field office embarked on an aggressive surveillance in Enugu metropolis during which they inspected 29 petrol stations.
He said the action against the eight defaulting petrol stations followed a public outcry over the weekend of arbitrarily increase of PMS pump price by petroleum marketers.
‘We discovered that the major marketers sold between N162 and N175. They complained about the cost of the product at the depot as well as the freight charges from Lagos to Enugu,’ he said.
‘We are aware that government has not increased the price band of PMS which is on partial deregulation. The current price band is cost-reflective, taking into cognizance the international cost of crude oil and cost of importation of refined products.’
Azuike further disclosed that three out of the eight petrol stations sealed in the course of the operation were reopened when they reverted to the government-approved price, adding that the five that refused to revert would remain sealed and be sanctioned in line with the default regulations.
On petrol stations under lock and key, he said: ‘We do not know whether they have products or not but the surveillance will continue.
‘We noticed that there was panic buying of PMS in Enugu over the weekend but after this surveillance there will be free flow of products in the state. We want residents of the state to know that there is no fuel scarcity in the state.
‘No one should be compelled to buy PMS above the approved pump price. Our office is always open and if you report defaulters we will swing into action.’