Eket – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Eket office says under dispensing of petrol in filling stations have reduced `drastically’ in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
Mr Bassey Nkanga, the DPR’s Operations Controller in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket on Friday that there had been significant improvements by stations in complying with regulations.
“The rate of under dispensing of petrol is reducing as there have been improvements in pump efficiency in the two states.
“The level of compliance has been high and I can say that not less than 85 per cent of filling stations have complied with pump efficiency in my area of operations.
“They have since realised that if their pumps are not corrected, motorists will not patronise their stations for purchase of products,’’ Nkanga said.
According to Nkanga the department has begun close monitoring of marketers to correct adjusted pumps that are under dispensing.
He explained that the level of awareness among marketers to drop some sharp practices because penalties meted out to defaulters had deterred an appreciable number.
The controller explained that DPR had strategised on ways to clamp down on stations that were still under dispensing, diverting or engaged in other illegalities.
“As part of the department’s plan toward checking malpractices, we have commenced discouraging those indulging in sharp practices,’’ he said.
Nkanga said those caught during a recent surveillance were made to pay fines as well as sign undertaking not to indulge in illegalities again.
The controller said that eight stations caught under dispensing petrol were made to pay a fine of N100, 000 times the number of pumps in their stations.
He noted that at least two of the marketers who violated DPR’s seal orders in Akwa Ibom were handed over to law enforcement agency for further disciplinary action.
The controller, then, warned that any marketer who under dispensed products could face some other sanctions.
“We will not tolerate any form of under dispensing or diversion; any person caught diverting or under dispensing will be punished accordingly,’’ he vowed.
Mr Akpan Etuk, an independent marketer claimed in an interview with NAN that mechanical faults was responsible for the under dispensing of petrol in his station and promised to re-adjust the pump.
“I plead with the DPR that it won’t happen again. I also signed undertaking as well as paid appropriate fines’’.
A motorist in Akwa Ibom, Mr Etim Asuqwu, explained that the issue of under dispensing had reduced to a greater extent as it was rampant when the prices were high during the scarcity era.
“I don’t think there will be need for some them to manipulate metres because people will always purchase products where they can have value for their money.
“For the attendants or owners of stations, it will at their detriment to manipulate their metres because people will want to source products from where they know that the pumps are efficient,’’ he said. (NAN)