30 August 2012, Sweetcrude, BENIN—THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, may be forced to shut down its mega stations in Edo State due to shortage of petroleum products from the Warri Refinery, said to be undergoing routine maintenance.
Sources close to one of the mega stations in Benin told newsmen, on condition of anonymity, that though the mega stations had been receiving petroleum products such as Premier Motor Spirit, PMS, or petrol from the Port Harcourt Refinery, it had been difficult selling the product.
The sources noted that the PPMC depot in Benin City which houses the laboratory where the petroleum products must be tested for quality authentication before being sold to the public, had been shut for over three weeks over a N35 million tax default to Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, adding that since then, it had not been possible to subject petroleum products to such test.
Sweetcrude learnt that following this development, the mega stations are now selling only two truckloads of petrol on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, Mr. Victor Okube, the Director of Tax Intelligence and Enforcement of the Board, told newsmen that the Board acted on a court order to seal off the depot, saying it would remain closed until it offset its tax debt.
He added that besides a month notice earlier served on the depot and affected establishments, two months’ period of grace was further given to them before the Board embarked on the exercise of locking them up.
He said: “If you add the two months to the one month notice, it comes to about 90 days, yet there was no response from them.”