Port Harcourt — The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has assured residents of Rivers State of availability of petroleum products, following threats by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to withdraw their services.
This comes as IPMAN, in collaboration with Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, and Independent Marketers Branch of NUPENG, had recently threatened to shut down their operations, over non supply of diesel and kerosene by the Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company, at the Port Harcourt Refinery.
IPMAN Chairman, Port-Harcourt Refinery Unit, Mr. Emmanuel Inimgba, accused the PPMC (a subsidiary of NNPC) of not supplying Automotive Gasoline Oil (diesel) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (household kerosene) in the last two years.
Inimgba said sales of illegally refined diesel and kerosene, commonly known as kpo-fire, was flourishing in Rivers State and causing damage to truck engines, threatening to shut down their activities till PPMC meets their demand.
But reacting to the threats, DPR Zonal Controller in Port Harcourt, Mr Bassey Nkanga, after surveillance of petrol stations in Port Harcourt, assured that PPMC has resolved the issue of of supply of diesel and kerosene with IPMAN.
Nkanga called on members of the public to avoid panic buying.
“I know that the issue they had with PPMC has been resolved and they have gone back to work and PPMC has given them some volumes of AGO. We have also promised that we will talk to other private refineries, if they have AGO they should give to marketers in Rivers State.
“We want to assure motorists to go about their normal businesses, the Federal Government has made arrangement of fuel to be adequate in country.
“Nobody should panic buy, if you observed any sharp practices in any retail outlets, please feel free to contact the DPR.”
The Zonal DPR boss, also announced that four petrol stations along Ikwerre Road and Port Harcourt-Aba Road have been sealed up for under-dispensing and hoarding products.
He disclosed that marketers in the state have begun to comply with DPR, while assuring that the regulatory agency will not rest on its oars in sanctioning filling stations with complaints involving shaddy deals.
“We have shut down four petrol stations. Out of these four, one was sealed for obstruction and running away from seeing the DPR team and one for operating without licence.
“We will not tolerate any form of non compliance and any attempt to cheat members of the public will be resisted and anyone caught will be penalised accordingly.”