As fuel shortage bites harder in Ibadan and other towns across Oyo state, the Ibadan Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources has sealed off about 50 filling stations across the state for various offences.
The affected filling stations are located in Sango, Eleyele, Apata, Apete, Asipa, Arapaja, New Garage, Kuola and Oleyo areas of Ibadan.
Similarly, officials of the DPR in Kwara State on Wednesday last week, shut six petrol filling stations in Ilorin, the state capital, over alleged malpractices.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Kwara State, Mr. Salvation Phillips, who led the enforcement, told newsmen that the affected stations included Super Noon and NIPCO, both along Ajase-Ipo road.
He said Super Noon was sealed off for two months and fined N2m for threatening the lives of DPR officials and selling petrol at N120 per litre instead of the official price of N87. The NIPCO station suffered the same fate for alleged under-delivery and hoarding of products.
In Ibadan, the DPR team said it observed that some independent fuel marketers in the state were selling petrol above the government approved pump price.
Other offences that the fuel marketers were sanctioned for included hoarding of petroleum products, thereby creating artificial scarcity, absconding from stations even when people were in the queue to buy fuel, and delaying the sale of fuel till late in the night in order to make illegal profit.
Following series of complaints by the members of the public, the DPR, working in separate teams and with the assistance of men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps visited the interior parts of the state where sharp practices were most rampant.
The Operations Controller of the DPR in Oyo State, Mr. Olakunle Ogunlana, described the current fuel scarcity as artificial in nature, explaining that the government was doing everything possible to ensure the availability of petroleum product across the country and that it would not hesitate to deal with any marketer who sabotaged its efforts.
“It is the gimmick of the marketers to make it look as if the government is not paying subsidy, but the government is paying. Even despite the directive to cut down on importation, it is still the duty of the importers to import as long as they have the licence to do so,” he said.
Phillips warned filling station owners and attendants to avoid sharp practices, adding that the DPR would strictly monitor the stations and mete out appropriate punishment according to the laws in the industry to errant stations.
“The DPR will not abdicate its responsibilities to ensure that guidelines for the sale of petroleum products are adhered to in Kwara State,” he said.