The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have closed down seven filling stations for receiving diverted products and selling to motorists at cut-throat prices in Abuja and environs.
The NNPC also said 24 fuel-laden trucks meant for Abuja were diverted to Southeast states.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, seven of such stations along the Kubwa and Airport Road axis of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were shut with the petrol found in their storage tanks dispensed free of charge to motorists by members of the team led by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru.
Spokesman of the NNPC Ndu Ughamadu, said yesterday: “I want to warn marketers who have refused to heed our advice, especially those operating at night, that the law will catch up with them very soon. The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have commenced monitoring of such stations. On Tuesday, we identified some defaulting stations and we are going to impound their products and dispense it free to motorists.”
He said about 24 trucks laden with petrol meant for Abuja were diverted to some states in the south eastern part of the country, adding that the defaulting marketers have been identified and would be sanctioned accordingly.
The follow-up raid of illegal filling stations on the Airport Road axis took the team to Bassa Jiwa community behind the Abuja Airport where three errant stations were shut down with products in their storage also dispensed free of charge to motorists.
At one of the stations, McManakai Global Services, the team found 39,000 litres in its storage tank which it was selling to motorists at N240 per litre as against the approved price of N145 per litre.
The GMD also reiterated the Corporation’s determination to end the artificial scarcity by increasing fuel truck out across the country.
“What we are doing is to maximize the daily truck out to Abuja and other cities. Yesterday, we had about 114 trucks that dispatched products to Abuja as against 70 to 80 trucks earlier received daily. As at Monday, we had loaded about 230 trucks for Abuja. When they arrive and with the 24-hour operations in place, we should be able to eliminate most of the queues,” Dr. Baru enthused.
Speaking on the raid on illegal filling stations, the Abuja Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Mr. Abdu Abba Misau, said some of the operators of the errant filling stations were earlier directed to revert to N145 but decided to ignore the advice, adding that the NSCDC would arrest and prosecute the perpetrators appropriately.
He warned motorists to desist from patronizing such illegal stations to avoid damage to their vehicles as one of the stations raided was found with adulterated petrol.
Assistant Commandant-General, Operations of the NSCDC, Mr. Aminu Kofar Soro, said his men were well prepared for the task, adding that so far 25 arrests had been made and large number of trucks impounded.
Today’s (yesterday’s) operation, saw the clampdown of three stations at Bassa Jiwa village behind Abuja Airport and another station at Sauka Village along Airport Road, with a combined stock of 66, 500 litres of petrol.