*Shuts down errant filling stations over PMS price inflation
Lagos — The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR said it has begun a probe into fake diesel being sold across the country following several complaints it received.
The Abuja Zonal Operations Controller of the DPR, Mr. Abubakar Buba stated this on Wednesday, adding that its officials had visited some locations to collect samples of the products and it is currently waiting for the results of the tests conducted on the samples.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC had last week alerted Nigerians on the presence of fake diesel in the market by fraudulent individuals.
The Corporation’s Retail Limited Managing Director, Sir Billy Okoye on Friday advised motorists to be wary of the products offered at discounted prices.
Okoye stated that the warning became necessary because the low grade and contaminated diesel was harmful to machines and the environment.
“We have received a lot of complaints; some of them we visited and took samples, and we are now waiting for the analysis. Although the laboratory scientists are not available now, but the few management staff that we have are trying to make sure that they do the analysis,” DPR’s Buba said.
He added that the Agency had shut down errant outlets selling above the stipulated rate in a bid to enforcing new petrol price range of N121.5 to N123.5/litre for filling stations across the country, adding that stations of defaulters would not be re-opened until they were ready to comply with the new price band.
Buba, said the DPR had also been notified that many outlets were under-dispensing products.
He said, “We are on surveillance to make sure that these marketers don’t cheat the public by selling above the pump price or by under-dispensing. Also, we are carrying out surveillance to make sure they don’t divert products to neighbouring states.”
“We have noticed that and that is why we are going around. Since yesterday (Tuesday) up till this minute, we have been going around to make sure they dispense the right quantity to motorists.
“Anybody found wanting will have their station sealed and will pay the appropriate penalty, which is N100,000 per nozzle. In all the field offices in Nigeria, we have agreed to go out and make sure the public is not cheated.”
On the compliance level of marketers to the new pump price of petrol, Buba stated that although he was impressed by the conduct of some dealers, a few others failed to comply.
Buba said, “In the Federal Capital Territory, I will commend the marketers to some extent because out of the 37 stations we visited, only two were found selling above the new pump price.
“Now for the two selling above the regulated price, we have sealed them up and we are only going to unseal them as they comply. The sealed filling stations are Ramaniya (at Minister’s Hill) and Yinzag Petroils at Mabushi.”