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DPR Sanctions 27 Oil Companies Over Product Diversion

About 594,000 metric tonnes of petrol have been diverted...

About 594,000 metric tonnes of petrol have been diverted to unknown destination by marketers in the last two weeks.

The majority of the supplies were meant for Kaduna State. More than 90 per cent of their quantity was lifted from Mosimi and Ejigbo depots. Only a few which was lifted from Warri and Jos also meant for Jos and its environ were diverted.

Twenty-two dealers including those for major marketers such as Total, AP, Unipetrol have been fingerd by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to be responsible for this.

Some members of the Independent Marketers were also indicted. Consequently, the operating licences of these dealers have been suspended by DPR until they are able to account for the missing products.

In the meantime, the DPR has identified 27 illegal filling stations spread across Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger States and parts of Kwara State. The organisation has finalised arrangement with the police for the arrest and prosecution of the owners of the alleged illegal filling stations.

Recently, six stations were sealed in Ekiti and Ondo for offences including selling above the official pump price, operating without licence, manual adjustment of price totaliszer, faulty pumps and dispensers, severe under-dispensing of fuel as much as five litres per very ten litres measured and refusal of station managers to avail themselves to the DPR monitoring team and hiding the fuel dip-stick among others.

The team of DPR, it was gathered visited 37 filling stations most of which look substandard in structure, not properly kept and lack the requisite safety materials to respond to any emergency.

With the determined stand of government to abate the recurring fuel scarcity in all fronts and the full authority given DPR to enforce the law on all offenders, there seems a ray of light at the end of the tunnel on the issue of product scarcity.

This, according to industry observers is because the long arm of the law will go full length on defaulters to deter others with such intent.