The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed 30 filling stations and eight Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) outlets for various offences in Akwa Ibom.
Mr Victor Ohwodiasa, the state Operations Controller of DPR, disclosed this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket, headquarters of Eket Local Government Area of the state on Thursday.
Ohwodiasa said the filling stations and LPG outlets were sealed for offences ranging from under-dispensing, operating without valid sales and storage license, poor housekeeping, poorly sited and illegally operating in the state.
“I can authoritatively tell you that we have sealed 30 filling stations and eight gas outlets for operating illegally in the state.
“We cannot continue to allow illegality because we don’t need accidents to occur first. We just have to be proactive instead of being reactive.
“It is going to be a continuous fight because people are constrained because of the environmental condition, economic hardship; they want to cut corners, and that is why we have regulators to check them,” Ohwodiasa said.
He said the filling stations sealed were located in Eket, Uyo and Onna Local Government Areas of the state.
He said the department would be proactive in order to ensure that gas retail outlets and gas plants are operating within safety procedures that govern the oil and gas industry.
“Nobody will want to go into business without conducting due diligence, feasibility study or safety audit to ensure that what are the safety implications of my actions or inactions.
“We need to educate them, because nobody wants to kill himself; nobody wants to invest in a facility and allow the facility to go down overnight.
“So, we need to continue to educate them on the safety implications of what they are doing wrongly and the need for them to correctively do it, so that we will not have ugly incident in the state,” he said.
Ohwodiasa said the department would partner with town planning authorities in the state to discourage citing of gas or filling stations in residential areas.
He urged residents to report any perceived illegal activity in filling stations and gas plants to DPR for further action.