The Department of Petroleum Resources says it has sanctioned 10 filling stations caught dispensing fuel above N145 per litre government approved price in Rivers.
DPR’s Port Harcourt Zone Operations’ Controller, Bassey Nkanga, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
He said the unnamed defaulting filling stations adjusted their meters upwards with intent to rip-off unsuspecting motorists in the state.
He said: “So far, in the past one week or so, we have fined 10 filling stations caught selling above government approved price or under dispensing petroleum products.
“Experience has shown us that when marketers under dispense fuel; they usually use this means to cheat the public. So, those caught have been paying fine and writing undertakings.”
Nkanga said that DPR’s surveillance teams were working round the clock during the Easter holidays to ensuring that marketers sold petroleum products at stipulated prices.
He said: “We have also made them to realise that it is not only about paying fine after they have been caught indulging in sharp practices.
“They (marketers) now understand that after paying fine, that their filling stations can be sealed for between 20 to 50 days or more.
“In some cases, we go as far as auctioning the marketers’ petroleum products. So, we have told them to shun illegalities and operate within the confines of the guideline.”
Nkanga cautioned the public against panic buying of petroleum products during the holidays as there were enough petroleum products in the depots.
He said no fewer than 41 trucks had distributed fuel to filling stations in Port Harcourt on Friday alone and assured of products sufficiency during and after the holidays.
According to him, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that Federal Government is not considering removing fuel subsidy or increase prices of petroleum products.
Kachikwu said: “It is normal that during holidays, motorist usually go into panic buying of products. But, people should not be afraid because there is enough fuel.
“There is stability in supply and adequate trucks in circulation within Rivers, especially to Port Harcourt metropolis which is encouraging.
“Similarly, government is also doing everything possible to ensure adequate supply to the depots and private depots. So, there shouldn’t be any fear of scarcity or increase in price.”