By Segun Awofadeji
As part of efforts to stop overpricing petrol and manipulation of metering devices, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Bauchi State, has sealed 10 filling stations in Bauchi, the state capital, and Azare town for illegally increasing the pump price of petroleum product.
The state Comptroller of DPR, Abdullahi Iliyasu, placed the stations under seal yesterday during a patrol and enforcement drive on errant filing stations, which he led in some parts of the state.
According to him, many of the sealed petrol stations sell petroleum over the approved N162 per litre, noting that the rest were shut down due to safety issues.
He said: “Last week, we had serious problem of price hike of petrol in Bauchi State, even when the government has not increased the price of petroleum products. So we have a directive from the zonal comptroller that all of them (filling stations) must revert to the N162 per litre pump price.
“So since that time, we have been going round the state to ensure that they all comply. Some of them are selling at N170 per litre. So we are going to penalise them. They will pay fine before we unseal their stations.”
Iliyasu lamented that “some of them have safety issues. Their fire extinguishers had expired. There is evidence that they are operating in an unsafe condition. We have to seal them to make sure that they are put in order.”
The DPR comptroller explained that the sealed filling stations would be fined N100, 000 per pump, urging all fuel stations operators in the state to go to the department to get licences.