Yenagoa and Jos — The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off 19 filling stations in Bayelsa and Plateau states for various offences including shortchanging of customers through irregular fuel dispensing.
In the exercise, carried out in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital last weekend, DPR sealed nine petrol stations and an illegal trans-filling Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) station.
It closed 10 stations in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
The operators were sanctioned over expired license and lack of other basic operational requirements.
DPR, during its routine surveillance operation led by the head of operation in the organization in Bayelsa field office, Mr Ibinabo Jack, paid unscheduled visit to several retail petrol outlets.
The affected fuel stations are Nun River Petroleum, Maccary Oil and Gas, Barbizon and an illegal station in Yenagoa.
There was also a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail outlet at Edepie, Otueyal Oil and Gas, Tony's Green Field Petroleum, and Mobil Oil and Gas (NNPC retail outlet), Akenfa, all in Yenagoa.
Speaking with journalists after the exercise, Mr Jack said: "It's not new for us; it is a continuous exercise. As you can see, some outlets were dispensing to customers below the variation.
"Like a station that are selling at less point-41CL in every 10 litres. That is shortchanging the public who are supposed to get exactly 10 litres, but were given six or seven litres.
"The stations that were placed under seal must have committed so many irregularities that are punishable. Some were under dispensing, while others were not having fire extinguishers," Jack noted.
On the dangers of the illegal LPG outlet, he said, "We saw a retail outlet at which they were selling cooking gas. They were trans-filling, by that I mean transferring from one cylinder to another cylinder with a tube and valve which is not allowable.
"Anybody that wants to buy cooking gas, must come with his/her cooking gas and they exchange cylinders and not to transfer from a cylinder into another cylinder," he said.
In Plateau State, DPR Operations Controller, Jos field office, Jerome Agada, told Daily Trust: "We will continue our monitoring exercise to ensure that the filling stations that are not prepared to play by the rules and want to always be cheating the public are brought to book."
Agada said 15 stations were visited and 10 were shut-down for various breaches, and 28 pumps sealed.
He said 17 of the sealed pumps were for under-delivery, 10 for being faulty and one for over dispensing, adding that similar exercise was conducted in June in collaboration with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel to root out illegal retail outlets.