Stanley Uzoaru, Owerrl
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Imo State has launched a special operation code-named, “Operation total enforcement” aimed at ensuring petrol is sold at the government-regulated pump prices in the state.
According to the South East Zonal Operations Controller of the DPR, Mr. Peter Ijeh, who launched the operation, in Owerri, on Tuesday, the DPR would continue the operation until every station in the state sells at the approved price of N145.
He warned that any defaulting marketers will be penalised by having their products auctioned free of charge.
“We have made it clear to the Association of Imo marketers and distributors that they must comply with the approved price of 145 or risk having their products auctioned for free.
“Normalcy has returned to Imo and there is no more scarcity so there is no need for petrol to be sold above the approved price.
“We have been forced to apply strict measures because as soon as we leave these stations they readjust their metres and continue selling at prices higher than 145,its becoming a vicious cycle and until government changes the pump prices every station should sell at 145,” Ijeh said.
The Controller stated that 57 of the 73 stations visited by the surveillance teams on Monday were selling at the approved price of 145 per litre.
He disclosed further that eight stations have been sealed, 5 of them he noted had no products while three had violated their seal and would be penalised.
He stated that the fines for each sealed pump was 100, 000 while Seal violation attracted a N1 million penalty.
Ijeh reiterated the commitment of the DPR to ensure that motorists are not shortchanged by marketers and urged the public to report defaulters to the Department.
He further advised motorists to avoid eight stations which had been sealed and blacklisted for under dispensing and overpricing.