29 September 2014, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has charged marketers of petroleum products across the country to ensure that the products they received and distributed to the public met the recommended specification.
Speaking at the 2014 annual meeting between the DPR and the petroleum products’ marketers in Lagos at the weekend, the Operations’ Controller for Lagos Zone of the agency, Mrs. Chioma Njoku said it was unacceptable for retail outlets to purchase products from uncertified sellers.
Njoku alleged that in most cases, these uncertified sellers delivered substandard products to retail outlets.
“We have had reports from unsuspecting public of how their vehicles and equipment began to malfunction shortly after purchasing from the filling station. This is unacceptable. Our investigations show that such products are always from unscrupulous sources, and the culprits would be able to tell you that the sanctions are very weighty,” she said.
She also disclosed that there are instances where ‘Category A’ license for bulk storage for industrial consumers are being abused.
According to her, the petroleum regulations, being investor friendly takes cognizance of the fact that large industrial consumers should be saved the inconvenience of shuttling to the filling stations or far away depots to meet their daily requirements.
She, however, pointed out that some of these storage depots are being utilised as avenues for bulk storage of products that are not covered by their licenses and in addition to selling in bulk and supplying to even unlicensed facilities.
“In some cases, such facilities are used as hideouts for some untoward activities that are definitely not covered by the licenses. We have to reiterate that such infractions attract very serious sanctions, which include sealing of the facility and outright cancellation of the license,” she said.
Njoku also stressed the need for filling stations to adhere to safety regulations, saying that the industry had witnessed unfortunate fire incidents at some retail outlets.
She said the attendant loss of life and destruction of property was a stark reminder of the cost associated with safety slips in operational locations.
To reduce risk of fire, the operations’ controller said the operators should adhere to the various design considerations and approvals, as well as requirements such as layout, spacing and distance requirements all of which are designed to outrightly prevent, and also help limit the extent of fire damage in time of accident.
“As we approach the fourth quarter 2014, and the rains gradually going, we must not forget that the dry season exposes us to the risk of static electricity and general vulnerability of combustible materials. Also there is need to discourage your customers from making calls within the filling station premises, especially, while discharging of products from trucks into underground tanks and dispensing into vehicles,” she explained.
– This Day