The Department of Petroleum Resources in Kwara State on Sunday forced an erring filing station in Illorin, the state capital to dispense fuel to motorists and motorcyclists free of charge.
It was learnt that the affected station, Alkad and Sons Nigeria Limited, located along Olorunsogo in Ilorin was caught hoarding a total of 2300 litres of fuel.
The DPR?s surveillance team led by its Operations Controller, Mr Salvation Philip, acting on a tip-off that the station was hoarding fuel in its underground tank, swooped into its premises and uncovered 2300 litres of fuel while the management of the station had allegedly told customers that it had exhausted its stock.
Following the discovery, the DPR boss instructed the station to distribute the fuel to motorist free of charge in line with ministerial directive.
The order led to a serious scramble as motorist and motorcyclists struggled to get the product for free.
Speaking with journalists on the exercise, the DPR Operations Controller said the department acted in line with the directive by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
Phillip stated that the punitive measure would send a signal to other fuel stations hoarding fuel that its no longer business as usual.
According to the DPR chief, the department is poised towards ensuring that the commodity was properly distributed among commuters.
His words, ?We are out for surveillance because of the situation on ground, and we want to make sure that the fuel that comes in is distributed to commuters. When we got to this place (Alkad), we dug and discovered that the management of the stationwas hoarding 2300 litres of fuel
?So, we are simply enforcing the ministerial directive. We are giving the fuel free to fellow Nigerians that need it. It is a critical time, we have to utilize what is available. This is the second station so far we caught hoarding and the ministerial directive is that whichever station that is caught hoarding, fuel should be given free to the citizens.
?We want to use this to serve a very strong warning to all marketers that anybody caught hoarding, diverting or flouting petroleum laws and regulations, that infractions would be meted with the full wrath of the law.
?So, we are not joking about it. Let this serve as a deterrent to all intending hoarders of petroleum products. The situation is critical. We want to make sure that what is available is utilized. Any violation would not be tolerated by the Department of Petroleum Resources especially here in Kwara State.
?And I?m using this to send a very strong warning to marketers, desist from hoarding, desist from diversion because if you don?t, appropriate sanctions would follow suit and I mean it with every sense of seriousness,? Philip added.