18 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday dispensed 14,400 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, free at an alleged illegal fuel station in Zauda on Gwagwa-Deidei road, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The DPR operations task force team, led by its Abuja Zonal Controller, Alhaji Abba Misau, also arrested the owner of the station.
Misau, while addressing newsmen after the exercise, said that the un-named station was operating illegally and selling above the approved N145 cap.
“We came here based on intelligence gathering that there is an illegal station that sells above the pump price of N145 per litre and on reaching here we discovered that the owner was selling at N210 per litre.
“We look around, we asked of their licence but they don’t have. When I looked around, I saw that it is situated in an unapproved site. It is in the midst of a community and a station is not supposed to be sited there.” he said.
The DPR boss added that, “They have to answer to a case of being an illegal station and another case for them to answer to is selling above pump price. Since we don’t know of their existence, we have to start dispensing free.
“We don’t have their record. We discovered that the storage tank has 14,400 liters. However, no sooner had we started dispensing that one of the staff went and disconnected the light while the machine was on.
“We will ensure that the security around here is beefed up and cordon off the station until the exercise is completed,” Misau said.
The Zonal Controller blamed the resurgence of fuel queues in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the instability of products supply to Abuja and its environs.
“We have been given assurance by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) that the products supply will be stable.
“We will hand the illegal station over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for prosecution and find out from the Abuja Development Control if they have any approval for the site, otherwise, it should be demolished.
“Even if it has approval, we will advise that it be revoked for safety of lives,” he added.
The owner of the fuel station, one Danladi Eya, said he bought the fuel from a licensed marketer which he said covered his operations.
He pleaded with the DPR for mercy, stressing that he took facility from the bank to embark on the business when he could not get job as a graduate.
“I am a Nigerian; I need to survive; I am a degree holder and cannot steal so I ventured in to the business,” he said.
The leader of anti-vandal squad NSCDC, Abuja, Ayinde Yusuf, said the owner would be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the land to serve as lesson to others.