DPR debunks existence of 2,000 illegal filling stations
Mr Abba Misau, Abuja Zonal Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday challenged the claim that there were over 2,000 illegal filling stations operating across the country.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had on Jan. 14, advocated immediate demolition of over 2,000 identified illegal filling stations operating across the country, to check the persistent scarcity of petroleum products.
The Chairman of Board of Trustees of IPMAN, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, gave the suggestion when he fielded questions from State House correspondents in Abuja.
Abdulkadir, who was one of the participants at the a meting of critical stakeholders in the nation’s oil sector, said the demolition of the retail outlets had become necessary to ensure availability of the products.
The meeting, which was presided over by the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, was convened by the presidency to find lasting solutions to problems of petroleum scarcity and diversion of the commodity in the country.
He said the exercise, if carried out by the Federal Government, would also serve as deterrent to those who might want to frustrate Federal Government’s efforts towards ensuring stability and sanity in the oil sector.
“But what is true is that there are people who are not licensed marketers, who have access to these products and they are doing what they like best because they want to profiteer from it, thereby constituting these problems for government, marketers and Nigerians at large.
“And these over 2,000 unlicensed marketers are neither IPMAN nor DAPMAN members.
Reacting, the zonal controller said the IPMAN’s claim was untrue.
He queried how IPMAN was able to cumulate he figure, saying “how did IPMAN come about the figure? They should give us the list.
“If IPMAN has the list of the 2,000 filling stations they should give it to us, we will act on it and go after the stations. That is our job.’’
He explained that the DPR was on the prowl daily to arrest erring stations.
“As we speak, our men are outside, scouting for such stations. It is the fuel scarcity that revealed some of them, if there was no scarcity, people would not volunteer such information.
“As a result of the scarcity, we were able to get information on some of the stations ripping off Nigerians and the cases have been reported.
“We urge Nigerians to please report such stations and we will take action,’’ Misau said.
Giving a breakdown of arrests made, the Head of Public Relations in Abuja, Mr Saidu Bulama, told NAN about 14 marketers had been sanctioned.
“They will pay between N3 million to N27 million, depending on the quantity of products diverted. We gave them two weeks; some have paid while some haven’t but they must pay before they lift fuel again.
“They initially refused to pay but when they found that they could not do business or lift they complied and they have started paying.
“Also, the penalty for diversion is that you pay N275 per liter, not N145; when sanctioned, you pay to the Treasury Single Account.’’