PPPRA uncovers illegal petrol storage facility in Abuja

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
02 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has uncovered an illegal facility used for the storage of petroleum products in Giri, on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

A team of PPPRA officials, led by the head of Corporate Services, Lanre Oladele, made the discovery over the weekend during a monitoring exercise to check marketers’ compliance with regulations in Abuja and environs, even as fuel scarcity abates.

Oladele said the unauthorised facility, owned by Sunmart Progress Nig Ltd, may have been converted to an illegal fuel dump, as various units of 51,000 litre capacity underground tanks was found at a location which appear to be a truck repair park.

Oladele noted that it is illegal to store petroleum products, especially petrol, in large quantity outside of an approved petrol station.

The team declared the usage of the park as storage dump by the company illegal as it does not have licence to store products outside its filling station located about a hundred metres away and warned that sanctions would be decided on the company after their report is submitted to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

At Northbridge Energy located in Kwali, the team discovered that two trucks of 45, 000 litres each of petrol were parked although the station was deserted and not selling products, even as attempt to locate the owners of the station was unsuccessful.

The PPPRA team also inspected the sale of products in other filling stations along Gwagwalada/Lokoja Expressway, Asokoro extension and Area 11 parts of the Federal CapItal.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the monitoring, Oladele expressed satisfaction at marketers’ level of compliance to regulations and pricing and assured consumers that the minister has put in place measures to ensure that adequate supply of petrol is sustained.

He however warned that with the disapearance of the queues, any marketer caught committing infractions in the distribution of the products would be brought to book.

“The minister established an inter-agency monitoring team which includes all the agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources including the DPR, NNPC, PPPRA and all other sister agencies.

“We have gone beyond Abuja to neighbouring states to see what obtains there. We have comprehensive report which we are going to turn in to government on what we actually saw and how the situation could be improved.

“So far, things have improved, we will make effort to sustain all of these. The minister has gone ahead to ensure that all agencies under the ministry are put on the alert such that what we have witnessed within the last one month does not repeat itself,” he said.

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