The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Cross River State has threatened to shut down filling stations operating in the state without registered operating licenses.
The State Operations Controller, Bassey Nkanga, gave the warning at a meeting with officials of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) in Calabar.
Nkanga said that the department reminded oil marketers in the state on October 31, 2017 on the need to renew their operating licences, adding that the deadline for registration had since elapsed on March 31, this year.
He told the oil marketers that for any filling station that is shut down during the operation, the owner will have to pay a fine of N250, 000 before it will be unsealed for business.
“Any moment from now, we will embark on an intensified operation to ensure that marketers who have not renewed their licences are not allowed to operate.
“We have over 600 filling stations in Cross River and it is sad to know that only a little above 100 have their valid registered licences.
“To prevent any embarrassment, IPMAN members should display their renewed licences in their filling stations’’, he said.
The Operations Controller frowned at marketers who were in the habit of adjusting their fuel pump to short-change customers.
He further warned that any filling station indulging in such act will face the wrath of the law.
On the issue of kerosene explosion in the state, Nkanga said that the Department would partner with IPMAN in the state to reduce adulterated product to the barest minimum.
“Don’t buy doubtful product from anybody apart from the licensed depot. Anyone who buys adulterated product and there is an explosion in any corner, that person will be held to face the necessary sanctions. DPR is well equipped in checking petrol stations across the state to ensure that the right thing is done, ’’ he said.
IPMAN Chairman in the state, Mr Lawrence Agim, expressed sadness over incessant kerosene explosions in the state.
Agim said that many families had been affected by such explosions.
He lauded the state DPR for always holding regular meetings with them to appraise the situation of petroleum products in the state.