Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Five filling stations have been sealed in Asaba and Kwale, Delta State by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for either selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) above approved pump price or hoarding the product as fuel scarcity is yet to abate.
Warri Zonal Operation Controller, Mr. Antai Asuquo, who led the operations, warned marketers not to buy any product above the official depot prices, stressing that any marketer that buys products above the official depot price will not be allowed to sell the product above the official pump price to the public.
Asuquo insisted that if marketers know that they cannot sell at the regulated pump price, they should not buy above the approved depot price.
“Today we have sealed about five filling stations in Asaba and Kwale. These were people who were selling before but when they saw us coming they abandoned their stations and ran away claiming they do not have product and they will not allow us to look at their underground tank. It is not our intention to seal any station that has product. All products should be sold to the public at the approved pump price.
“Those stations that saw us and absconded were sealed and sanction notification were issued to them. We will follow up on this and like I said earlier, PMS remains a regulated product and the price remains at N145 per liter. Marketers have their complaint but that is neither here nor there.
“All products are imported by PPMC and if you know you cannot sell at N145 do not take the product because DPR will come after you. We will follow up on any product that is lifted and will ensure that it is sold for the public at the approved pump price.
“The general complain we hear is that they bought this product from the depot at a higher price but when we ask them to show us prove, they cannot because the receipt they have is showing N133.28. I have also been to the depot where I saw a lot of marketers who affirmed to us that they did not buy higher than the depot prices. So what do I do at this instance?
“You enter some filling station and when you ask the buyers how much they are buying, they will all say they are buying at N145 per litter. But looking at the size of the queue you know that they were not buying at the approved price. If the consumers are saying that they are buying at approved price, you cannot sanction the outlet,” Asuquo said.
Although the action of DPR was greeted with jubilation by residents and buyers at the affected stations, some station managers who spoke to our correspondent complained that they have been buying the product from the depot at N175 per litter, stressing that that was the reason they were all selling above the regulated pump price.