The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Yenagoa Field Office today sealed twelve fuel dispensing outlets in Bayelsa state for various offenses, including expired operational licenses.The shut down was done during DPR’s routine surveillance exercise on all petrol filling stations in the state.
One of the major offenses that necessitated the closure of the fuel retailing outlets include none compliance to safety rules by the operators of the filling stations.
Another serious offense by the operators, according to DPR, was under dispensing of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly referred to as petrol to the unsuspecting consumers.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the exercise, the DPR Manager of Operetions, Mr Ibinabo Jack said some of the fuel stations were sealed on the ground that they were operating in illegality since they were yet to renew their operational licenses.
He also disclosed that all the sealed outlets did not meet safety standards which he said was key as it concerns human lives, explaining that some were having none functional fire extinguishers while others did not have at all.
Jack further revealed that a gas retailing plant was also sealed because it was supposed to operate in isolation and not within a fuel station as directed by the federal government.
He called on the erring stations to leverage on the ongoing renewal regime, which lasts till December, to renew their operational licenses to avoid indefinite closure of their fuel stations, warning safety and dispensing defaulters to do the needful or be ready to face the full weight of the law.
“We found out that several outlets are actually under dispensing among which we placed seal on them and we also found out that some are not having valid licenses and have been advised to initiate the process of renewal.
“DPR has its internal mechanism to check the operations of the retailing outlets, their appearances; what we call personal protective equipment, putting on coveralls and shoes that cover their toes and things like that.
“They must have their fire extinguishers up to date, in other words, recharged and ready for use at every point in time. Caution signs such as No Smoking, No naked lights must be there.
“Any station that is sealed doesn’t just go free, there are penalties attached to it.
For insurance, if a pump is under-dispensing, not just because they have to pay fine, we ensure that they reset their meters to dispense ten litres to customers for 10 litres,” he concluded.
Some of the filling stations under seal within the Yenagoa metropolis include: Tamic Nig. Limited, Paudsiman. Nig. Limited, De Arizona, Keniyan Oil and Gas, Sowho Oil Limited, Estanco Oil Limited and Paulo Maritime and Oil Limited among others.