Mrs, Ijeoma Onyeri, Head of Petroleum Downstream of DPR, said this in Calabar during a familiarization tour of downstream facilities in Calabar zone.
She explained that her familiarization tour of the downstream facilities in Calabar zone was to ensure that the depots were working in line with the Health and Safety Environment (HSE) compliance and the stipulated guidelines.
According to her, DPR frowns at bulk buying and price hike of petroleum product, adding that such illegal deals create artificial scarcity and panic buying.
Her words “Any erring operator caught selling to bulk buyers will highly be sanctioned. They are the ones responsible for artificial scarcity and panic buying.
“They are the ones responsible for diversion and hoarding of the product. DPR takes it seriously and any defaulter is given strict sanctions depending on the various category infractions’’, She said.
Also speaking, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, the DPR Operations Controller in Cross River, said that the exercise was carried out with a view to ensure that there were no cases of fire outbreak or explosion in any of the depots.
Nkanga said that DPR places premium on the safety of depots and its staff, saying that his office was working tirelessly to ensure that safety facilities within the depots and their jetties were up to date and functional.
“From what we have seen so far, I must say that the level of HSE compliance is high and we are very happy with that.
He explained that DPR was in top gear and doing everything possible to check the bulk buying in order to prevent artificial scarcity and panic in the state.
“We have imposed stiffer sanctions on any depot operator caught selling to bulk buyers. Our point is that, no depot operator should allocate mass product to a particular company’’, he said.
The Operations Controller had earlier held a meeting with depot operators at the DPR office where she advised fuel stations owners on the need to renew their operating license or risk being shut down.