At least 55 petrol stations have been sealed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Port Harcourt in the last six weeks.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr Bassey Nkanga made this known to newsmen on Tuesday, as the department continued with its three-day inspection and surveillance of petroleum outlets in Rivers.
Nkanga said the sealed petrol stations were among the over 500 outlets visited during the period, adding that most of the stations were caught in the act of under-dispensing products to unsuspecting users.
He said others were sealed for offences bordering on hoarding, over-pricing, over-dispensing, operating without valid licence, obstruction as well as pump adjustment among others.
He said, “today, we are continuing our three-day inspection and surveillance of filling stations and other outlets to complement the gains that have been achieved in the last few weeks.
“Today alone, we visited 40 stations, five of which were sealed for under-dispensing, obstruction, operating without valid license and workers abandoning their stations on sighting DPR team.
“We will also take the surveillance outside Port Harcourt to places like Eleme, among other areas. It is a nationwide exercise and a continuous process.”
Nkanga said that marketers caught under-dispensing petroleum products would pay a fine of N100,000 for each pump used in the illicit act.
He equally noted that DPR was impressed with the level of compliance to regulations by most petroleum marketers operating in the state.
According to him, a stakeholders meeting was recently held with members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and others on the need to comply with regulations.
He said, “We met with marketers to inform them that we will not tolerate any form of non-compliance to regulations and any attempt to cheat the public.
“We warned them that such illicit activities will be resisted with severe sanction meted to anyone caught defrauding Nigerians.
“So, it is based on the outcome of our meeting that we are seeing this level of high compliance in the operational activities of marketers. I hope this will continue.””