blank By Balogun Alabi,
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has disclosed that it has sealed a filling station in Abuja, as well as, dispensed its fuel for free to motorists as sanctions, over allegations that that the station was operating illegally and selling above the approved N145.
It was gathered that the DPR visited the station following intelligence reports from public an illegal station was selling above the approved pump price, which personnel of the department confirmed that the station sold for N210, instead ofN145.
According to the department, the unnamed filling station has no approved licence and that the marketer situated on an unapproved site, in midst of a community, which was against rules and regulations.
The agency added that it had no choice than to dispense the fuel belonging to the station for free, and that the marketer would provide reasons for being an illegal station and selling above government approved price.
While briefing journalists on Wednesday after the exercise in Abuja, the task force team, led by Abuja Zonal Controller, Abba Misau, disclosed that the owner of the station had also been arrested, as the station had no record.
Misau said that he was surpised to see one of the station’s staff disconnect electricity, while the pumping machine was on, in order to avoid the taskforce dispensing the fuel of about 14,400 liters to public for free.
We will ensure that the security around here is beefed up and cordon off the station until the exercise is completed.
”We will hand the illegal station over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for prosecution and find out from the Abuja Development Control if they have any approval for the site, otherwise, it should be demolished,” he said.
However, owner of the fuel station, Danladi Eya, said that he bought the product from a licensed marketer which he said covered his operations, as well as, pleaded with the DPR for mercy.
Eya added that that he took facility from the bank to embark on the business when he could not get job as a graduate, adding that he needed to survive.
”I am a Nigerian; I need to survive; I am a degree holder and cannot steal so I ventured into the business,” he said.
The Zonal Controller assured that the illegal station would be handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for prosecution and find out from the Abuja Development Control if the station had approval for the site, otherwise it would be demolished.
“Even if it has approval, we will advise that it be revoked for safety of lives,” he said.
According to DPR, the persisting fuel scarcity in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was blamed on instability of products supply to Abuja and its environs, adding that the PPMC had assured that the products supply would be stable.
”We will hand the illegal station over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for prosecution and find out from the Abuja Development Control if they have any approval for the site, otherwise, it should be demolished.