In the bid to stem the tide of scarcity that is taking its toll on social and economic activities in the country over the past few months, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said last week that it has closed down over 56 filling stations that were caught selling petrol above the official pump price.
The agency stressed that it had earlier warned all service stations in the country that are engaged in hoarding of the essential product in order to maximize profit that it is sabotaging the efforts of the government in making fuel available in all nooks and crannies of the country,
Consequently the agency said it has shut down 56 of such erring stations belonging to both major and independent marketers, the action which has created hostility against the agency.
The Director of DPR, Mr. Billy Agah confirmed the development to Shipping Position Weekly last week saying that the agency is committed to redressing this ugly situation with a view to making fuel available at affordable prices.
Agah who refused to divulge the retail outlets however confirmed that “it is true that we have closed down up to 56 stations engaged in the illegality and we are still going round to make sure that it does not continue”.
A parallel investigation carried out by our correspondent however revealed that most filling stations still sell the product above the pump price without intervention from the DPR especially those belonging to the major marketers.
Also, the independent marketers located close to the DPR office in Victoria Island and those in Lekki, Ajah (all in Lagos) sell at the official pump price of N65 per litre for the fear of being caught red handed, but their outlets around the country sell for between N90 to N100.
Reacting to the activities of the black market dealers who still populate the Lagos metropolis especially along the Mile2- Badagry express way selling the product for up to N150 per litre, Billy Agah said that the war is no longer within the jurisdiction of DPR but that of the Nigerian police.
He said that “Our jurisdiction ends at the filling stations now, I believe it is the duty of the police to catch them and demand for their license in selling as such and if they fail to produce it they should be arrested” he said.