Chuks Onuoha, Aba
The Department of Weights and Measurements of Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments, Abuja has sealed 30 filling stations/Gas plants in Abia, for various offenses ranging from operating with the wrong meters to their refusal to pay the annual operational fees to the Federal Government. The incident happened during their annual one week annual surveillance which ended at the weekend.
Speaking after the exercise, the Assistant Director/ head of the Team, Mr Saka Gafar, said it surveilance took the team to filling stations, gas plants, super markets and ordinary markets where measures are used to sell products. He explained that the intention was to ensure that consumers are not cheated or short changed in transitions that require measurement.
He explained further that while inspecting some filling stations, it was discovered that they have errors of not operating with correct meters as a result of which some stations were sealed and their operators invited to defend themselves and pay appropriate fines before they were unsealed. According to him, for others their offenses was their refusal to pay government’s annual statutory fees, even as some feigned ignorance of our operations, which made us to be lenient to them.
“We want to use this forum to create awareness, and enjoin the media to help us to enlighten the public and those who use measurement to run their businesses. Their instrument of measurement should not be such that will deceive , cheat or shortchange the masses”, he advised. Gafar gave instance of some stations that sell 9.7 litters of fuel to consumer in place of 10 litters.
“And the consumer will not know that he has been cheated. This is what we are here to correct”, the Team leader explained.