The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Akwa Ibom State, has sealed 32 filling stations for hoarding and selling fuel above the approved pump price.
Kingsley-Sundaye Tamunoiminabo, the Operations Controller of DPR in Akwa Ibom State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket, Eket Local Government Area of the state on Monday.
“Last week, we sealed 32 filling stations for related offences such as hoarding, selling above pump price and some marketers run away as soon as they sighted DPR staff,” he said.
Mr Tamunoiminabo said the department was aware of the artificial scarcity that started last week and efforts were ongoing to end the crisis in the state.
“We are ensuring that filling stations that have the products should not hoard or sell above government approved pump price of N145 per litre,” he said.
He said that the filling stations were sealed due to artificial scarcity caused by an industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), in solidarity with some of its members, who were downsized by a private serving company, Universal Energy Resources Ltd.
The operations controller appealed to the marketers not to use the artificial scarcity to cheat the public, noting that cheating the public would not be allowed by the department.
“We expect petroleum marketers to sell their products at government approved pump price of N145 per litre,” he said.
He noted that the department has taken inventory of filling stations, which have products and locked their underground tanks in the state.
He explained that such filling stations would be sanctioned appropriately.
He decried the situation where some filling stations would sell their products at the early hours in the day and late at night to the people of the state.
Mr Tamunoiminabo thanked the state government for intervening in the matter between NUPENG and Universal Energy Resources Ltd.
He said the state government had called for several meetings to solve the lingering crisis in the state but to no avail.
NUPENG had embargoed supply of petroleum products to Akwa Ibom with effect from July 23.
Fuel is sold between N170 and N200 per litre in the state.