The Federal Government, through the Department of Petroleum Resources, has sealed over 62 petrol stations across the country.
The petrol stations were shut down due to varying acts of malpractices, including selling the Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol, far above the N145 official price.
Since fuel scarcity started nationwide some days before Christmas, several filling stations had started selling fuel as high as N300 per litre.
Speaking to one of our correspondents, the Head of Operations, DPR, Kwara State, Mr. Oyedele Ibitayo, said the agency had sealed no fewer than 10 petrol stations in the state for varying acts of malpractices and infractions since the fuel crisis started.
Ibitayo listed the petrol stations that allegedly flouted regulations to include Korrect Petroleum at Agbabiaka Road, Ilorin; Alhaji M. Oyetunji Petrol Station at Ajase; Golden Mother Petrol Station at Agbabiaka; Haflum Petrol Station at Babaoko; and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation retail outlet at Okoolowo.
He stated that their offences ranged from under-delivery, over-pricing and product diversion. He added that one of the stations sold petrol as high as N250 per litre.
Ibitayo said punishments meted out to the defaulters varied depending on their offence.
He said while some were shut down for between two and six months, some were asked to pay a fine of N200,000 and sign an undertaking that they would not be involved in such sharp practices again.
In Edo State, the DPR said it had sealed 23 petrol stations for indulging in sharp practices.
This is just as the state Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Makinde Ayinla, said that the agency was collaborating with the DPR to check malpractices among the oil marketers.
Three of the stations were sealed on Friday for dispensing fuel above the official price. One of the alleged erring stations, FU Alohan, located on Sapele Road in Benin, was shut down for selling a litre of petrol at N260.
The state Operations Controller, DPR, Mr. Maynard Oriaifo, said that officials of the agency had been going round the state to ensure all filling stations sold petrol at N145.
In Osun State, the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Mr. Babawale Afolabi, told Saturday PUNCH that so far, three filling stations had been sealed in the state.
He added that marketers involved in hoarding fuel had been forced to sell the product to motorists and other consumers at the official price of N145.
Likewise, in Katsina State, the Area Operations Manager, DPR, Mr. Yusuf Shehu, said the agency had sealed nine filing stations for alleged product diversion and selling fuel above N145.
He said that the seal order on the affected filling stations would not be lifted until they served all the penalties meted to them, which he did not disclose.
But, a DPR official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of the errant filling stations were asked to pay a fine of at least N200,000.
In Enugu State, the DPR said it had sealed three petrol stations and arrested seven operators for sharp practices during the period of fuel scarcity.
In Enugu, the DPR sealed three filling stations, and arrested seven operators, for hoarding fuel and selling above the official pump price.
The Head, Health, Safety and Environment Unit, DPR, Mr. Unyime Akpan, named the errant stations as Pipeline West Africa, Abakpa Nike; Raino Oil and Gas, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway; and NACO, Presidential Road, Independence Layout.
He said that the stations had been forced to selling fuel at the official price.
The DPR has also sealed six filing stations in Sokoto and Kebbi states, according to the agency’s Acting Controller, Sokoto Zone, Alhaji Nura Kamba.
He said that while four were sealed in Sokoto State, two were in Kebbi State, adding that the errant stations had been asked to pay a fine of N100,000 per pump.
It was a similar scenario in Kaduna State, where the DPR sealed three filing stations for hoarding over 17,000 litres of petrol. Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, the Executive Director, Services, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Mallam Abdullahi Idris, and the Kaduna State Commander, NSCDC, said the erring stations had been forced to dispense fuel at the official price.
The Comptroller, DPR, Bauchi State, Alhaji Garba Salihu, told Saturday PUNCH that four filling stations had been sealed off in the state for selling petrol above the government-approved price of N145.
“The stations were selling at N167; we have sealed them off,” he said, warning that the agency would stop at nothing to punish the errant oil marketers.
In Plateau State, the Operations Manager of the DPR, Mr. Jeremiah Mashat, said the agency had only sealed off one filling station, which had been fined N200,000 for selling fuel above N145.
Meanwhile, the Controller, DPR, Bayelsa State, Ms Ejiro Ufondu, said on Friday that the agency had been visiting filling stations in the state to ensure that they did not hoard the products and sell above the official price.