Home / News / Local / DPR decries proliferation of illegal petrol stations in Bayelsa; ‘When you accost them, they jump into the river’

DPR decries proliferation of illegal petrol stations in Bayelsa; ‘When you accost them, they jump into the river’

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

NEDU MARK, Yenagoa

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has decried the proliferation of unlicensed petrol stations in the Bayelsa State.

DPR Operations Controller, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, who made the disclosure in Yenagoa, shortly after meeting with officials of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said he met over 40 illegal petrol stations operating in the state, noting that DPR had been able to reduce them by 70 per cent.

He warned operators of unlicensed petrol stations to stop in their own interest, and regularise with the DPR or face the full wrath of the law.

“Most of these illegal petrol stations are the places where consumers buy adulterated products. We have also audited the filling stations in Bayelsa State and we have delineated names of the illegal filling stations and we have submitted their list accordingly and maybe with time government will take action on them”

“When we came they were up to 41 illegal stations but we have reduced them now to about 13. You see a lot of people putting one stand and when you chase them from there, they dismantle them from there and go to another location and put up another one.

“Another area we are having challenge are the operators in the riverine communities of the state. Those one are the ones we have not been fully able to convert from illegal to licensed stations. Most of them when you accost them, they jump into the river. We have resorted to pleading with them. That’s why each time we meet like this, we plead with them.

“You know how this place is. I have been threatened so many times, even my staff, so we have to use this pleading method to lure them. Those on the land, we have reduced drastically the illegal stations to about 70 per cent. But we are still telling those ones that have yet to regularize their stations to come forward because we have handed over the list to the appropriate authorities.”

Nkanga also warned members of IPMAN to desist from selling the product above approved pump price, adding that despite the scarcity of petrol at the moment, marketers should stick to the regulated price of N87 per litre of fuel and N50 per litre of kerosene.

He observed that some filling stations were cashing in on the short supply of petrol to cut corners by adjusting their meters to short-change consumers.

“The marketers are taking advantage of the short supply to be selling fuel at exorbitant prices. That’s why we are telling them that the issue should not be so because on no account should fuel be sold above government regulated price of N87 per litre for petrol and N50 for kerosene.

“We have gone and we have seen most filling stations are dry and a few ones we saw selling above pump price, we shut them down. Two of them are here trying to make amends but we will charge them with the penalty.”

He said that the Department would not hesitate to destroy such stations found to have contravened the law barring them from building such petrol stations in those places.

“Sometimes some marketers will go and build stations within residential areas and we can’ t give them such approval, that is illegal. We cannot grant suitable approval or site suitability approval in places we have adjudged unsuitable already”

“There is one Idoh Oil on Mbiama-Yenagoa Road. We have written him a letter telling him that the site is not suitable and he went ahead to build. We wrote him another letter and we observed that despite the fact that we didn’t grant his approval to build, he still went ahead to build. We have copied letters to different enforcement agencies.”

He urged marketers to operate within the confines of the law and regulation if they did not want to be sanctioned.

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