The Abia state office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has sealed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station in Umuahia and seven other filling stations in the state for under dispensing of petroleum products to the public.
The sealing of the stations came after a surveillance exercise carried out by the agency in the state where it was discovered that the affected stations were cheating their customers with as much as two litres on every ten litres bought.
Out of the eight filling stations sealed, seven were located in Umuahia which includes NNPC mega station, Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway; Sinday Oil services; NNPC sales outlet and Forte Oil (formerly AP) all on Aba road.
Also sealed were Tonimas Ltd, MRS Ltd and ELWAZZEY Oil Ltd., which are located on Mission Hill, Umuahia. Kenjika filling station on Aba/Owerri road was the one sealed at Aba.
In an interview with newsmen after the exercise, DPR’s Operations Controller, Abia state, Dr. Jones Ogwo lamented that some marketers including the NNPC mega station were out to sabotage the efforts of the federal government in making petroleum products affordable to Nigerians.
He said despite government’s introduction of the bridging regime to cushion the effects of expenses incurred by marketers in bringing the products to their filling stations, some of them still engaged in sharp practices to dupe the public.
Said he, “I am surprised at what I saw at the NNPC mega station which is supposed to be a model. What I saw there clearly undercuts the efforts of the Minister of Petroleum Resources in promoting the mega stations across the country.”
Ogwo hinted that owners of all the sealed filling stations will sign undertakings that they would not indulge in such sharp practices again before they would be allowed to operate and threatened to withdraw the licence of marketers who cheat the public.