By Silas Patrick
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is partnering with the Akwa Ibom State government to have illegal filling stations operating in the state demolished.
This is even as the agency on Wednesday announced the sealing of 13 stations for non-renewal of licence and operating without DPR’s approval in the state.
The Operations Controller in charge of Eket Field Office, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Kingsley-Sundaye said the affected stations are located in Uyo, Essien Udim, Ikot-Ekpene, Abak, Etim Ekpo and other parts of the state.
He explained that they were sanctioned during a routine surveillance on Wednesday.
According to him, of the 13, seven were sealed for non approval to build or operate the filling stations while the remaining six were sealed for inability to renew their licenses.
“The team of DPR on routine surveillance went out to some areas in Akwa Ibom to ensure compliance in terms of standard, safety engineering standard and operating standard.
“We discovered that seven fillings stations do not have approval to build or operate a filling station and six were unable to renew their licences” he said.
The controller expressed dismay that despite the period given to the defaulters to regularise their licenses some of them are still adamant and refused to comply to approved guildlines and standard of operations.
“There are some people who are adamant and they feel the system is weak or the government is weak to make them to obey the law. We will continue to do what is right,” Kingsley-Sundaye said.
He disclosed that the department collaborated with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and arrested defaulters of oil and gas in the state last month.
He said after the arrest, a good number of the defaulters came back and did the right things, adding that two petroleum marketers who were arrested refused to do the right thing.
He warned that petroleum marketers who built filling stations without approved licenses would be sanctioned in the court of law.