The Department of Petroleum Resources in Eket, Akwa Ibom State said it had sealed off 30 and suspended seven filling stations from operations in the state in one month over sharp practices.
The DPR Controller of Operations in Eket, Asuquo Antai, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Eket that the stations were closed for under dispensing and over pricing of their products.
He further said the suspended seven petrol stations were given products for various stations, which were diverted to unknown places.
He said: “In the last one month, we have sealed a total of 30 petrol stations and suspended seven petrol stations from lifting products in the state.
“Some were given products for their various stations but they diverted it to unknown places and so we have written to PPMC suspending them from lifting until further notice.”
He, however, expressed regret that petroleum dealers in some areas still sold the products above the approved pump prices.
Antai said DPR also arrested eight station attendants for removing DPR seal after the stations had been sealed and asked to stop operations.
According to the controller, the culprits are in police detention in the state.
He said: “Some station attendants were also locked up in the last one week for removing DPR seal, over pricing and under dispensing of their products.”
Antai said some of the defaulters had started coming to the office to pay the required fine to DPR fees account and adjusted their prices to reflect the appropriate pricing policy of government.
He said: “Violation of DPR seal is a criminal offence by law and so we have the backing of the law enforcement agents to apprehend the promoters of such stations and they will be persecuted in court.”
He said the department was committed to monitoring activities of the filling stations so as to ensure adherence to the Federal Government’s directives.