13 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has sealed off six filling stations and five Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, retail outlets in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, over sharp practices.
The DPR team, during routine surveillance, sealed off the stations for various offenses ranging from under-dispensing of petroleum products, violation of safety standards and operation without license.
DPR Head, Downstream Monitoring and Regulations, Port Harcourt zone, Mr. Patrick Emordi, who also confiscated items from gas retailers used in decanting cooking gas, warned marketers involved in sharp practices to desist from the act.
Emordi, who led the surveillance team, stated that all the filling stations sealed must pay the appropriate fine.
“On our routine surveillance to Ikwerre Road in Port Harcourt, to make sure that we curb sharp practices, to ensure that filling stations and pumps are in order and to inspect their facilities as well as inspect their licences to ensure they are up to date.
“We caught many filling stations that could not display their license, we also caught many with pumps under-dispensing.”
Emordi also warned cooking gas retailers not to operate their LPG retail outlets in residential areas, adding that the location of some cooking gas retail outlets in the state were risky and unsafe.
“For the gas retailers, we encountered some people that are operating without DPR license. We have keep on telling them that they must come to DPR to obtain their license before they can operate.
“We sealed about five, seized some of their equipment and cautioned them. Even those that are decanting, you know decanting is an illegal practice, which can cause various hazards, it can even lead to fatalities.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of LPG Retailers in the state, Mr Innocent Okparaodu, said his union will continue to work with DPR to ensure that his members are trained on how to handle cooking gas incidents.
“We will go into the field to sensitize our members. Some of our members don’t have license, some don’t even come for safety trainings. Some of them refill gas inside their shops, which we have already warned them before now.
“So we will continue to sensitize them and arrange a safety training for our members, because if one is not well trained on this business, any mistake can lead to explosion which members of the public will bear the brunt.”