Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) recently sealed off nine petrol stations and two gas plants in Warri and environs in Warri South Local Government of Delta State.
The affected stations were sealed over offences bordering on under-dispensing and operating without business names and valid licenses.
Downstream of the DPR Manager, Mr Nicholas Ogbe, Manager, led a team of the regulatory agency on the exercise.
Ogbe, who spoke to journalists on behalf of the Operations Controller, Warri Zonal office of the DPR, Mr Antai Asuquo, said the team decided to embark on the surveillance to ascertain if the marketers were complying with agency’s rules of engagement.
According to him, there are rules guiding the establishment and sales of petroleum and gas products adding, “One of the statutory functions of the DPR is to monitor and regulate petroleum products, storage and sales.
“These are the facilities that stock and sell products to the public, that is why we decided to monitor and ensure they obey simple rules.
“Like the gas plant and the filling station, you need to have a license, renew it when if it has expired, if you don’t have, you need to come to DPR and get license.
“You also need to have fire extinguisher, trained your staff. You cannot bring somebody to come and monitor the sales of gas without training the staff.
“If you train your staff, he or she will be able to dispense product be it gas filling stations or outlet filling stations,” he said.
Asuquo, who expressed joy at the level of compliance said the defaulters would remit the necessary fine to the federal government before they would be unsealed.
“There are other actions we will take if the offenders refused to comply, DPR can withdraw their license and the fine to pay depends on the gravity of the offence.
“When a station is sealed, the agency will give the operator a notice which contains the fine to be paid to the federal government, then come with the receipt, after verification, we unsealed you,” Asuquo said.
He advised the marketers to follow the proper channels while setting up gas or petrol stations explaining, “Before setting up a gas or filling station, you have to come for DPR license.
“There are processes, the DPR officials will come for feasibility studies and others, if you meet the requirements, you will be issued a license,” he said.
The operations controller warned the defaulters that it was a criminal offence to remove the seal and dispensed products without paying the necessary fine.
Among the petrol stations sealed
were: Total petrol station, Asholyn petrol station, Forte Oil, Mobil Filling station, Yins petroleum all in Warri.
Others were: Pagson Ltd, Esiton Oil and Gas, Vwede Oil and Gas, Hemson Gas plant and Esegbe Gas plant all in Udu Local Government Area.