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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has shut down three filling stations in the heartland city of Owerri, over various irregularities.
The DPR Zonal Operations Controller in Owerri, Mrs Roseline Wilkie confirmed the development on Wednesday while briefing newsmen shortly after an inspection exercise that saw three filling stations sealed off for selling petroleum products above government approved pump price.
Among filling stations sealed were Bonimas, Penoil and Check Nassa all along Owerri – Okigwe Road.
Wilkie said that the team would continue its frequent monitoring of the filling stations in the state to enforce compliance with government directives in dispensing of petroleum products.’
‘We will continue to carry out the inspection of the operators to make sure they have the right products right from the depots and that the pumps are within the correct approved range’ she said.
The Zonal Controller said that the office would seal and sanction any defaulting station that failed to comply.’
She warned consumers to desist from buying black market products but report issues of infractions to DPR offices saying that they would always follow up complaints to its logical conclusion.
Mr Bright Ogbeni, Assistant Director of Operations, DPR Owerri, said the sealing of the stations was in line with the National DPR directive to ensure that the dealers dispensed petroleum products in the right quantity, quality and within the approved price bound.
He said the surveillance involved checking the quality and quantity of the petroleum products with their measurement scales/equipment for taking samples adding that any station that failed to meet up with government expectations would be sanctioned.
Ogbeni said the office monitored 21 filling stations including Coisco Nig. Ltd., Cocean, Ebere Links, Bonimas, Penoil, MRS and Check Nassa.
He said the monitoring involved checking for hoarding of the petroleum products, product availability, quality and quantity, enforcement of government-approved petroleum prices and checking of consumer protection and safety.
Some of the managers of the filling station who were taken aback at the DPR visit promised to always comply with DPR directives on the sale of products.
Mr Ifunanya Asiluka, Manager of Cocean situated along Owerri- Okigwe Road commended the monitoring team for doing their oversight function.
Mr Andrew Akwuoha, Manager of Bonimas whose filling station was sealed said he would report back to the management of the company for an adequate response.
Some motorists interviewed expressed satisfaction with DPR for the surveillance and urged them not to relent but make it a continuous exercise.
They said that Imo residents have suffered in the hands of petroleum dealers as they were made to buy petrol as high as ₦250 per litre contrary to government-approved pump price.
Dr Emma Esemonu and Mrs Victoria Ebeke commended DPR for the move and hoped that the operators would not revert back to the high price and readjustment of their meters.
Ebeke said the pump price had fluctuated between
N175 to N250 in the past week urging the Federal Government to bring down the pump price of petroleum products within the reach of the common man.
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