The Department of Petroleum Resources said it has sealed 23 filling stations in Edo State for alleged sharp practices since the fuel scarcity began.
This is just as the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Makinde Ayinla, said that the agency was collaborating with the DPR to check malpractices among the oil marketers.
Three of the stations were sealed on Friday for dispensing premium motor spirit above the official pump price of N145.
One of the erring stations, FU Alohan, located on Sapele road in Benin, was shutdown for selling a litre of petrol at N260.
The workers fled the premises when DPR officials, led by the State Operations Controller, Mr. Maynard Oriaifo, and the Head of Gas, Mr. Ogbe Godwin, arrived.
Asotime, located on Sapele road, and Faith in God on Upper Sakponba road were also sealed for dispensing at N234 and N250 per litre, respectively.
Oriaifo said that officials of the agency had been deployed to other parts of the state to monitor compliance with the directive of the Federal Government on the sale of PMS at the approved price.
He also warned that the erring independent marketers would face the consequences of their actions, if the seals were broken without authorisation.
“What we have observed today that the product has started coming and most of the marketers are selling at N145. We also observed that some stations, like Faith in God, were selling at N250.
“Immediately, they (workers) saw us, they ran away. So, we did not have any other choice than to seal the station. The essence of this is that it would serve as a deterrent to other marketers.”
Our correspondent, who monitored the sale of petrol on Friday, observed that many of the major marketers did not dispense the product as they claimed not to have any in stock.
But long queues were sighted at the NNPC mega filling station on Sapele road, where PMS was sold at N143.
A resident, Omo Osifo, who spoke to Leadership , decried the refusal of the fuel attendants to sell the product to him, using his generator.
“Have we done wrong to vote for the APC government. I saved to buy a cow from January to December and I brought my generator to buy fuel for me to freeze my cow. But the girl (fuel attendant) refused.
But the head of the station, who did not want to be mentioned, explained that some residents who bought PMS with their generators later sold the product in the black market.
But Oriaifo advised the residents that desist from panic buying, including the purchase of petrol with their generators.
He said, “We hopefully believe that, by tomorrow, the state will have enough products so that there would not be queues. They (residents) should stop panic buying.
“For safety reasons, they do not need to go the stations with their generators because fire could occur at any time.”