From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The House of Representatives has vowed to invoke relevant sections of the law against any individual or institution found to have breached the rules guiding the establishment of petrol and gas stations.
The Chairman of the House ad hoc committee on tank farm, petrol and gas stations, Ibrahim al-Mustapha, stated this in Asaba, Delta State, during a meeting of stakeholders.
Mustapha said the committee was not out to witch hunt anybody but to ensure that the right thing is done to protect lives and properties of Nigerians especially those living or working around petrol and gas stations.
He said the law would take its course against anyone or group, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), found guilty of flouting the laws.
The lawmaker said they were in the state for physical accessment of petrol and gas stations.
‘This follows the resolution and decision of the House to set up committee after series of complaints and petitions from Nigerians, stating their grievances on hazard that would be likely be encountered by those living around the facilities.
‘We observed with dismay the level at which these facilities operate without following due process.
“In line with the relevant resolutions setting up DPR, particularly Petroleum Industry Act of 1969, Petroleum Regulation Act of 1967 and Petroleum Safety Regulation Act of 1997 were empowered to regulate operations of these facilities.
‘We are here to follow up, to see the compliance level of the facilities as regard these regulations. We will go and physically access them one after the other to see where they need to improve and where they need to function,’ he said.
Sector ‘C’ coordinator of the surveillance enforcement team of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Isreal Eshanekpe, said his team has arrested criminals involved in product adulteration, pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the distribution chain of the petroleum sector.
Mr Eshanekpe noted the aim of the surveillance and enforcement team in oil producing states was to stem the tide of illegal oil bunkering, product adulteration, among others.
He urged the House to call on the Nigeria police to provide protection for the team in order to achieve the primary objective.
‘A lot have been achieved by my team but we still have so many wars to fight in this direction with little or no resources and work tools,’ he said.