The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Cross River State has warned marketers against hiking the pump price of petroleum products during the festive season.
DPR Operations Controller in the state, Mr Bassey Nkanga, who spoke during the fourth quarter meeting with Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Calabar, disclosed that the Federal Government has ensured that the depots have adequate product for consumers during and beyond the approaching yuletide period.
He said this was to prevent scarcity of the product and panic buying by Nigerians during the period.
“As we all know, we are approaching the festive period and DPR in the state have noticed some sharp practices by some marketers.
“We have intensified surveillance activities across the state with a view to make sure that marketers operate according to the stipulated guidelines.
“Government has done so much within this period to ensure the free flow of petroleum product and the depots have been adequately stocked to avoid scarcity and panic buying.
“I wish to appeal to marketers across the state not to take advantage of the festive period to cheat Nigerians in anyway.
“Anyone caught going against the rules of operation and the government stipulated guidelines will face the consequences,” he said.
He urged marketers who have not renewed their operating licenses to do so, adding that anyone caught operating without a valid license will be sanctioned.
The Operations Controller warned marketers in Northern District of the state to desist from selling a litre of petrol above N145, saying that any further act may lead to a revoke of operating license.
He also warned marketers against under-dispensing, selling adulterated products and violating the DPR seal whenever they were sealed for violating the operational guidelines.
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IPMAN Chairman in the state, Mr Lawrence Agim, commended the Federal Government for the adequate supply of petroleum product to depots.
Agim said that IPMAN in the state was fully ready to work with DPR in fighting all forms of illegality in the petroleum sector.
“We are ready to partner with DPR in ensuring that we dispense the product available to us at the approved government price,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DPR has warned illegal gas centres operators’ in the stage to desist from the act or face stiffer sanctions.
Nkanga, who gave the warning during the fourth quarter meeting with Liquefied Petroleum Gas Plant Operators/Retailers in the state, said they would clamp down on any gas operator or retailer operating illegally without a valid license issued by the DPR.
According to him, several cases of gas explosion had been recorded in the state, adding the DPR was intensifying surveillance activities with a view to curb further explosions.
He said that the government has demonstrated efforts in making sure that gas is extended and sold to residents in the rural areas due to its affordability.
The Operations Controller charged the retailers to report anyone operating a gas centre illegally to the DPR.