The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has seal off 6 fuel stations in Anambra for allegedly hoarding and selling petrol above the official pump price of N145 per litre.
The affected filling stations were located in Awka, the capital city, Onitsha the commercial town and neighbouring Nkpor and Obosi. NAN reports that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) sold between N220 to N240 per litre in Awka and most parts of Anambra at outlets owned by major and independent marketers.
The DPR also enforced the government approved pump price of N145 per litre by supervising the dispensing of over 16,000 litres of PMS to customers in the state. Speaking on their field operation in Anambra, Mr Callistus Obodoechina of the Retail Outlets and marketing Unit, DPR Enugu office said the enforcement would continue until marketers complied. Obodoechina said the reasons for sealing the filling stations include selling product above the approved pump price, refusal to revert to normal rate. alleged involvement in diversion and hoarding of products.
“In line with the resolve of DPR to ensure that Nigerians especially PMS user buy the product at the government approved pump price, we have intensified monitoring here in Anambra. “Our aim is to ensure that every marketer who has products sells at the normal price and make that there is no hoarding and diversion.
“In two days we have supervised the sale of over 16, 000 litres of PMS to the public at N145 and the sense of relief clear on the faces of people. “We also sealed six filling stations that refused to revert immediately on the excuse that the director or technician was not around and those who hoarded or diverted products. The official said it was unfortunate that marketers in the state had continued to cheat customers in spite of the government pronouncement on the situation.
Also speaking, Mr Uyinme Akpan, an official of DPR deplored a situation where marketers return to the exploitative ways soon after the DPR enforcement team left their filling stations. Akpan warned that such practice would be met with strict application of the law and advised them to either sell at the approved rate or don’t sell at all. He assured customers in Anambra of continued protection of the DPR and encouraged them to report defiant marketers for appropriate actions. Meanwhile, customers in Anambra have commended the DPR for its mitigating role and called for a more robust enforcement through deployment of more teams to the state.
Mr Chris Nduka said Anambra was so big that one team of DPR enforcers cannot create the desired effect because of the attitude of marketers who were bent on ripping off their customers. “The federal government iis doing well through the activities of DPR but it is not enough, the agency should be beefed up with manpower to effectively manage the situation,” he said.