The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has shut down three fuel stations in Cross River State for not accounting for three trucks of fuel.
Bassey Nkanga, DPR Operations Controller in charge of Cross River, directed the closure on Wednesday during a surveillance of fuel stations across the state.
He said that the stations’ action had violated laid down government directives towards improving fuel supply to citizens.
Mr. Nkanga said that the surveillance was to ensure that product released from the depot was sold to the public at the government approved price of N145 per litre.
He added that long queues in most fuel stations across the state had reduced due to increased flow of product to the state.
“If the supply is consistent within the next few days, there will be no queues again. We are intensifying efforts to ensure that the product is available for all at the government approved pump price.
“We have sealed three fuel stations for not accounting for three trucks of fuel; two were sealed in northern Cross River and one inside Calabar.
“Since these fuel stations lifted the product from the depot yesterday (Tuesday), some of them are claiming that the trucks broke down on the way.
“We have given them 24 hours to report back to us, and if they fail to do so, we will conclusively deduce that they have diverted the product and we will apply all the sanctions accordingly.
“If any marketer is caught diverting the product, he or she will pay N200,000 on each litre diverted. If it is a whole truck, the marketer will pay like N6 million and if you are caught selling above government price, you will pay N100,000 as fine respectively,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the closed stations are Con Oil in Calabar, Dandy Oil in Obudu Local Government Area and Willis Oil along Katsina-Ala road in Ogoja Local Government.
The controller urged motorists and other users of the product not to engage in panic buying or store in houses for safety purpose.
He added that the government was doing everything possible to bring back normalcy in petroleum product supply.
“I wish to appeal to the public to have faith in government because efforts are on to ensure availability of the product in the country,” he said.