The Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) has shutdown five filling stations and put 11 pumps out of use for violating operational and safety standards in Awka, Anambra.
The agency clamped down on the retail outlets during its surveillance operation in Awka, the state capital on Wednesday.
A total of 13 stations were visited, out of which, 11 were dispensing machines and were put out of use for under-dispensing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a gas plant was also shut down for selling product while a tanker was discharging into storage tank.
Mr Ignatius Anyanwu, the agency’s Operations Controller who spoke to newsmen after the exercise, said evidence from the operations showed that most of the filling stations’ facilities fell short of safety standards.
Anyanwu said the marketers neither had effective fire extinguishers nor sand buckets which posed grave danger to the public in the light of the business they operate.
“Our surveillance operation has been ongoing, today we visited a total of 13 filling stations out of which five were sealed for safety reasons again, 11 pumps were also put out of use for under-dispensing.
“Generally, the compliance level in terms of pump price is 100 per cent because the range was between N143 and N145 but for safety they did not do well, it was below what we expected just about 65 per cent.
“However, we have issued warning to the defaulters and placed their facilities on seal, they now have to rectify those infringements after which we will verify and unseal them,” he said.
Anyanwu however, said there were no cases of product diversion or adulteration within the Anambra downstream market and commended the operators for their willingness to play by the rules.
He, therefore, called on the public to report their misgivings to DPR office in Awka for appropriate action.
He said the exercise would be sustained across the state to ensure customers got real value for their money.
According to him, our message to the marketers is for them to try and play by the rules of the market, service their pumps regularly and desist from exploiting the customers.
“We are here with them in Anambra, they can always come to us for technical support and avoid penalties,” he said.