Makurdi – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), in Benue has sealed three petrol stations for selling petrol at midnight in Makurdi and also ordered five others to account for “illegal activities.’’
The Controller of DPR in Benue, Mr Benjamin Ewuga, ordered the immediate closure of the stations while conducting routine checks on petrol stations in Makurdi on Tuesday.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who was on the trip, reports that check followed a tip off from the Department of State Services (DSS), which accused the stations of indulging in late night sales to hawkers in jerry cans.
NAN reports that two of the sealed stations are major marketers while one is an independent marketer.
However, some of the managers of the affected stations denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Ahmed Shegun, one of the managers, said the operations of the station were strictly in accordance with the requirements of the laws.
Mr Silvester Osai, another petrol service manager, denied “ever selling to Jerry can owners and demanded the proof of late night sales and diversion.
NAN reports that some marketers shut down, claiming they had no diesel to power their generators while others claimed to be carrying out repairs.
NAN reports that in such cases, the DPR controller ordered immediate commencement of sales and directed the surveillance teams of the department to ensure compliance with the directives.
Ewuga said some hoodlums had attacked a monitoring team of the DPR and chased them away while trying to enforce compliance with official pump price in Gboko, Gboko Local Government Area on Monday.
Ewuga said the DPR had already reported the incident to the police.
He also disclosed that during the surveillance operations in Gboko, the team discovered illegal petrol stations, which he described as “the backbone of hawking in the state.”
Ewuga said petrol supply was better now when compared with situation two days ago.
He said the collaboration with the DSS in monitoring marketers was already paying off as marketers no longer sold in daytime to jerry can owners and most of them had reverted to approved pump price.
He assured that his organization and the DSS had devised ways of stopping midnight sales to hawkers, prevent product diversion and ensure availability in the state. (NAN)