The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday dispensed over 2,500 litres of petrol to customers free-of-charge as sanction against marketers who refused to comply with the new approved price.
The DPR described the affected marketers as habitual offenders who were bent on fleecing unsuspecting customers in spite of Federal Government’s effort to ameliorate the situation.
Mr Ahmed Gwaram, the Operations Manager of Enugu office of the DPR, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the agency had discovered that the affected marketers adjusted their meters to deceive the public.
Gwaram, who spoke at Acorn Filling Station, Unizik Junction Awka, said DPR dispensed the products and sealed the outlet as an extreme measure because they preferred to flout the directive and pay penalty only to recover it from high price.
NAN reports that four other stations were sealed, including NIPCO in Awka, Ozo and Ezeonwa Petroleum on Ziks Avenue and ABC oil and Gas at Agu-Awka.
He said the DPR would apply the option of withdrawing their licence if they continued to sell at above the N86.50 approved price per litre.
“We are dispensing the PMS here at Acorn filling station because they have continued to flout the directive on the new pump price after series of warning.
“Last week we were here and adjusted to the normal price and after they reverted to between N110 and N120; they are the saboteur we are talking about the system.
“We also sealed other four stations and arrested three persons and handed them over to NSCDC; if they do not do what is right we may withdraw their licences as last resort.
“This is a strong warning to others who indulge in this practice that the DPR is ready to ensure that sanity is restored in the system,” he said.
The Manager of Acorn could not be reached as he was said to be absent but motorists who benefited from the largesse, bared their minds.
A driver who identified himself simply as Gabriel expressed support for the clampdown on marketers only if it would make them operate within the law. Gabriel, however, urged the DPR to save the business by selling it at the minimum price possible to protect their investment.
“I came to buy with my money but surprisingly they gave me 20 litres; I want the marketers to take it easy on customers, but the DPR should realise these are people’s investments,” he said.
NAN reported that motors got 20 litres, while tricycles and motorcycles got 10 litres each during the exercise.