Department of Petroleum Resources has sealed 33 filling stations in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, for their alleged involvement in under-dispensing products.
Some of the affected filling stations, according to the DPR Operations Controller, Port Harcourt Zone, Mr Bassey Nkanga, were also selling adulterated petroleum products to unsuspecting members of the public.
Nkanga, who disclosed this on Friday shortly after inspecting filling stations in the state capital, explained that over 150 fuel stations had been inspected by the DPR.
He listed some of the filling stations that were sealed as Conoil Petroleum, Mobil and Eterna.
Nkanga stated that the affected filling stations would be made to pay fines for their actions.
He also pointed out that the filling stations that mistakenly over-dispensed products were temporarily shut down pending when they recalibrate their fuel dispensing pumps.
He said, “The filling stations were sealed for cheating the public in violation of stipulated rules guiding operations in the upstream and downstream petroleum industry.
“So far, of the 150 stations we visited in our ongoing surveillance in Port Harcourt, 33 stations were sealed for selling adulterated products to the public.
“Other offences of the affected filling stations are: Operating without a valid licence and selling products between N148 and N152 per litre, which is above the government’s approved pump price.
“Consequently, the 33 filling stations are presently under the sanction of various fines.”
Nkanga added, “Severe sanctions await marketers caught still dispensing products or tampering with evidence after their stations had been sealed by the government.
“The DPR is currently working with security agencies to end activities of illegal refiners and peddlers of adulterated petroleum products operating in the old Port Harcourt town.
“The synergy has led to many filling stations being sealed and operators put out of their illicit businesses. We will not relent in our efforts to ensure full compliance with the rules as stipulated in the guidelines of the petroleum industry.”