Over 25 filling stations in Kano and Jigawa states have been sealed off by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for different offences ranging from violation of safety rules, under-dispensing of petroleum products to customers, operating without valid licenses, to outright diversion of the products.
The Kano/Jigawa states Operations Controller, Mr. Musa Zarumi Tambawal, who led the inspection team during the operations yesterday, said the stations would remain sealed until commensurate sanctions had been imposed on them.
Tambawal said about 217 filling stations were inspected in the states within the last 18 days and that most of them were found selling at or below the government price of N145 per litre of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
According to him, eight of the stations were sealed over alleged under-dispensing, thereby shortchanging customers, while 14 others were sanctioned for outright diversion of the products, and six were found to be operating with expired licences.
Our reporter observed that some of the affected filling stations were either dilapidated or undergoing renovation as they operated, which was considered to be a violation of safety rules.
Addressing a team of journalists at one of the sealed filling stations (Conoil Tarauni) during the inspection visit, Mr. Tambawal alleged that some quantity, about 40, 000 litres of PMS, was lifted with the name of the station, but was diverted.
He also alleged that for every10 litres, the station short-changed unsuspecting customers to about 300mls which by simple permutation meant that customers were paying above the government approved price of N145 to obtain a litre of PMS.
He, therefore, warned the petroleum marketing companies to desist from sharp practices.