From Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Members of the Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) in Ekiti State, yesterday, announced their resolve to down tools indefinitely until Governor Ayodele Fayose reverses his decision to revoke licences of their members.
The marketers were reacting to Fayose’s comments on revocation of licences of marketers whose stations are either under construction or have been sited in wrong locations.
On Sunday, Fayose announced in a state-wide broadcast on Ekiti Television that existing approvals and certificate of occupancy of any fuel station under construction or where construction is yet to commence, have been revoked with immediate effect.
He said: “My duty is to ensure that the people in the state are protected and not exposed to danger. 42 people were rendered homeless in the last inferno from the filling station that was razed about a month ago.
“We have to protect our people from filling stations sited in business and residential areas by shutting the stations. Stations to be shut were built in wrong places and many of them did not have licences.
“For instance, one of the eight stations affected, Strive Energy, got burnt recently and rendered 42 people homeless.
“The owner of the station has since failed to compensate the affected people who lost millions of naira and property in the inferno and the most painful is that the owner did not even insure his station.
“In fact, most of the filling stations did not insure the building of the station, not to talk of likely damages. they only insure the fuel they are selling.”
Meanwhile, part of the regulations is for them to do complete insurance. The station premises must be wide enough to enable the trucks turn easily and must not be sited within residential, business and school areas.
In their response to the governor’s action through a statement co-signed by executives of the marketers associations, Owoeye Ayodele (PEDAN), Akinbami Sulaiman, secretary, PEDAN and Jegede Olumide (NUPENG), the associations, said: “We have noted with pains the actions of governor Fayose to hamper our operations through policies that not only threaten our operations, but, also, have potential to run our members out of business completely. For instance, the new policies on location of petrol station in the state is a direct threat to our members to conduct their business after all necessary approval from the same government that is now listing another set of new conditions that must be met before given approval to site stations anywhere in the state.”