Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed three petrol service stations and placed 30 pumps on out-of-use in Awka, Anambra capital over infractions of under-dispensing.
This clampdown on defaulting stations is part of the ongoing surveillance on compliance to standard operations guidelines by DPR in the state.
Speaking to newsmen in Awka on Wednesday, Engr. Ignatius Anyanwu, Controller of Operations at the Anambra office of the DPR, said the compliance level in the state was impressive in spite of the few infractions.
Anyanwu however commended marketers in Anambra for adhering to approved price range of N143 to N145 saying they have high level of willingness to play by the rules.
“We have been on surveillance activities in Anambra. It’s an ongoing process, I want to say that the compliance level in the state is generally high and it is not different here in Awka.
“There were few cases of infractions such as under-dispensing; we sealed a total of three stations today and placed out-of-use order on 30 pumps in a total 21 filling stations visited.
“On the average, I must say it is cheering to say that over 85 percent of filling stations from the total we so far visited since our routine surveillance started are dispensing accurately.
“There was no case of over pricing, the range is consistently between N143 and N145 and that is quite encouraging,” he said.
Anyanwu however expressed concern over the lacklustre attitude of marketers towards observing basic safety tips such as having functional fire extinguishers and sand buckets.
He urged customers in Anambra to feel free to buy products from any filling station of their choice as DPR would sustain the effort to ensure that there were no cheat in the system within the state.
“We however observe that compliance in terms of sand buckets and fire extinguisher is not too encouraging, may be out of ignorance, so we are also using this surveillance to create awareness on those areas.
“DPR has come to stay in Anambra, I want to tell the marketers to keep up their willingness to comply,
“Customers in Anambra are encouraged to feel free to buy products from any station they want to, the assurance from DPR is that we will protect customers’ interest by ensuring that sanity is maintained in the system,” he said.
Mr Anthony Ijomah, a supervisor at Fesoil filling station, Awka whose pumps passed the gauge tests said marketers could still make legitimate profit without shortchanging the unsuspecting customer.
Ijomah who said he maintained his machines regularly added that the economy was harsh and that there was no need to place additional burden on the people.
Mr Emeka Orjiakor a customer thanked the DPR for establishing an office in Anambra, saying it would further enhance best practices among marketers in the state .
Orjiakor made a call that punishment for under dispensing should be more stringent to discourage marketers from indulging in it.