THE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Eket Field Office, Akwa Ibom, said on Sunday that it sealed 36 petrol stations in the state for various offences last week.
The Operations Controller of DPR in the state, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket.
Kingsley-Sundaye said that the petrol stations were sealed for selling fuel above the government approved pump price of N145 per litre, violating DPR seal order and operating illegal petrol stations.
He said the petrol stations were sealed in Eket, Abak, Uyo, Etinan, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, and Ukanafun Local Government areas of the state.
“We sealed some petrol stations for selling fuel between N180 and 190 per litre. What pained me most was that some stations were also selling fuel with DPR seals placed on them.
“Others did not have DPR documentations or licences and were operating illegally in the state,” Kingsley-Sundaye said.
The operations controller said severe punishment would be meted out to the marketers who violated DPR seal order, adding that such offenders would be taken to court.
“Violation of DPR seal order attracts a penalty of N1million,” he said.
He said also that those that operated illegal filling stations would be handed over to the law enforcement agency for prosecution.
Kingsley-Sundaye said that the department had begun intensive surveillance to check sharp practices by some petroleum marketers in the state.
He appealed to the public to volunteer useful information to enable the department to ensure the full implementation of Federal Government’s pricing policy.
The operations controller advised petroleum marketers in the state not to engage in any act of illegality in the downstream sector.
“We will ensure that petroleum products given to marketers are sold to the public at the government regulated prices,” he said.
He, however, lamented that Akwa Ibom had over 1,000 filling stations but many of them were dormant due to lack of capital to engage in the business.