The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR) Mordecai Danteni Ladan, has warned that the agency has mapped out strategies to sanction those found hoarding petroleum products thereby causing artificial scarcity that has caused long queues across the country.
Ladan gave this warning in Abuja on Thursday during a press conference presided over by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu on the situation of fuel queues across the country.
He said that the normally when the DPR discovers such anomalies it shuts down the fuel stations. He however, noted that in the current situation, “I will want to penalize by allowing the defaulters to operate. The penalty normally is 275 naira per liter. When we find you wanting, we also quarantine the filling station then we dish out the products to the public through auction or sometimes free of charge to the consumers.
“We also go further to shutdown stations for a minimum of six months and the highest is to blacklist such defaulter and the depot owner is charged 2 million naira for such contravention,” he said.
He stressed that defaulters may be subsequently fined 10 million naira as was done in 2015 and 2016 warning those who wish to take advantage of the situation to desist.
The nation’s capital Abuja, the commercial capital Lagos and other major cities across the country had seen the return of very saddening fuel queues , which Kachikwu had to blame on hoarding by some depot owners.
The Minister had earlier told the conference that the government had taken emergency steps to address the crisis promising that it would be over by this weekend.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja