The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has clamped down on a petrol station affiliated to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for selling fuel at N181 per litre and under dispensing the product.
The station, a serial offender, will be shut for four months, a period within which a decisive action will have been thought out to deter it from further abusing the system.
The DPR Zonal Operations Controller for Abuja, Mr Abba Misau, the petrol station located on Kashim Ibrahim Way in Wuse 2 District of Abuja, had also been under-dispensing petrol to customers.
He said DPR had to seal the station for continuously abusing regulations on the sale of petrol in Nigeria.
Misau said DPR had sealed the station four times, with the most recent being last week for unwholesome activities, yet the station continued to cheat on unsuspecting customers.
Misau noted that from the discoveries made, the station sells two litres short of every 10 litres they sell to customers, meaning that for every 10 litres bought and paid for by a customer, they actually get eight litres from the station.
“We have sealed this station four times and the last time it was sealed before being closed again today was just last week and we opened it on Friday. Now they went back to what they do.
“We figured out that what they normally do is that during the day, they ratify the pumps and when they are sure that we (DPR) have closed from work, they will set the pumps to under-dispense.
“This time, it is the worst under-dispensing that I have ever seen in my career here, because they are cheating the public.
“They under-dispense two litres on every 10 litres that they sell to the public, which translates to selling one litre of PMS at N18.
“We cannot just close our eyes and allow them to continue this illicit act.”
Speaking on the penalties the DPR would impose on the station this time, Misau said: “We have sealed this station severally and put a penalty which they paid and are comfortable with paying, but always transfer the penalty to the public.
“We can’t allow them to continue doing that and so this time around we are going to apply a maximum sanction, which means that the station will remain sealed for the next four months, after which we can now take a decision on them.’
He appealed to the NNPC to ensure that products were made available at the government-controlled price.
“I want to appeal to NNPC, it should not allow a businessman that does not have conscience to continue using its logo to cheat the public.
“The NNPC needs to look into this issue and see how it can solve this problem.
“Whether we tell the NNPC directly or not, the fact is that we treat all marketers equally. So, if we have to go and tell NNPC, it means we are not being honest to the other marketers.
“Whoever we find wanting, we just apply the needed sanction on the person but right now, we are appealing to the NNPC,” Misau said.