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Fuel crisis: DPR Shuts erring stations
Fuel Queue in Lagos courtesy The Nation

Fuel crisis: DPR Shuts erring stations

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is getting tough with marketers found to be hoarding fuel as the current scarcity bites harder nationwide.

At the last count, no fewer than 48 filling stations have been shut down in Delta, Kwara and Ekiti states alone.

The price of petrol rose to N400 per litre yesterday in Abuja as more citizens travelled out of their stations for the Christmas celebration.

Many motorists even passed the night at filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in their desperation to buy fuel.

It was between N200 and N250 per litre in Lagos, Anambra, Ogun and Abia states.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared the scarcity unacceptable and charged President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to the challenge.

“Nigerians must not be made to suffer, especially at this time of the year when we have the Yuletide and New Year festivities, which come with a lot of activities,” the party said in a statement in Abuja.

The DPR sealed up 38 filling stations in Delta State, six in Kwara and four in Ekiti.

Despite promises made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to flood the market with more products and ensure that the scarcity evaporates this weekend, motorists continue to groan yesterday about the difficulty in buying fuel and the outrageous prices they were asked to pay at filling stations and by black marketers.

The DPR head of operations in Kwara State, Oyedele Ibitayo, said the affected stations were found culpable for various infractions ranging from diversion of fuel, overpricing and under dispensing to hoarding of petroleum products.

Ibitayo said although fuel supply to the state has reduced drastically in the last two weeks, whatever comes in must be properly dispensed by marketers.

He explained that the state which was receiving 39 trucks of petroleum products daily now receives between 12 and 19 trucks.

He maintained that the erring stations would be made to pay penalties and sign undertakings.

Erring petrol marketers in Ekiti State were fined between N100,000 and N200,000 depending on the degree of infraction.

The DPR team leader in the state, Mr. Anthony Onaji, said the punitive

action became necessary to save Nigerians from further hardship.

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