The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said that the essence of insisting that Petroleum Marketers totally comply with the rules guiding product distribution in the country is to instill sanity into the system to promote investment and not to make money for the Federal Government.
The Zonal Controller, Port Harcourt Operation, Bassey Nkanga gave the explanations shortly after a routine Surveillance operation in Rivers state, against the ongoing festive season.
Addressing journalists, Nkanga said that DPR is mandated by the FG to ensure strict compliance in the petroleum product distribution chain for the growth of the business in the country including the state to ensure that consumers get value for their money, and not necessarily to generate funds for the FG as wrongly being insinuated in some quarters.
He said that a total of eight filling stations were sealed in the state in the two-week end of the year, last quarter intensive routine surveillance operation by the Department, to ensure that nothing goes wrong during the Christmas and New year celebrations, and even after.
Speaking, the Controller said, “…In Rivers state particularly, we started these intensive surveillance last week and so far we have closed down eight filling stations for various offences, we have visited over 70 filling stations since we started.
“Just today alone, we shut down four filling stations after visiting about 22 filling stations and the essence of this surveillance is to ensure that petroleum products marketers do not exploit their customers as well as continue maintain a good compliance level as far as guidelines and regulations are concerned.
“The closure of filling stations is not to generate funds for the federal government but are just deterrent policies of government to ensure that marketers comply guidelines and regulations,” he explained.
Nkanga noted that the move was aimed at promoting investment opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
Giving insight on the expectations of the public in the year ahead, he said, “For the year ahead, DPR will continue to operate in a way that will promote investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector and also work with the operators to ensure that things are done correctly, reduction in operational cost and increment in investment activities as well as penetration of the use of LPG in the rural communities.”
He expressed gratitude to petroleum marketers in the state for their supports and level of compliance to the DPR product lifting and distribution guidelines, but however warnes against any deviation, slack presently or in the future, adding that their will be no Scape goat should anyone caught indulging in any activity that will underminine the record already achieved.
“From my judgement, I would say the marketer are not doing badly, over 80 per cent of filling stations visited were in line with total compliance, but those ones that are caught not complying with guidelines and regulations will be adequately sanctioned if need be, because there are some marketers who could have had problems due to metre malfunction, in such situations we know, correct them and ask them to continue their business, but for the ones that are trying to cheat the public deliberately are the ones to face severe sanctions.” he stated.
During the surveillance outing, the DPR team among other things checked for the level of sand in each sand bucket at filing stations, the state of the sand, (wet or dry), fire extinguisher expiry dates, product quality and above all, how it is being metered, depended to the public(correctly, under Despenser or over Despenser).
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