The Eket Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources has announced the discovery of eight petrol dispensing stations operating for more than five years without licence in Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
According to the Operations Controller in Akwa Ibom, Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, the discovery was made during routine surveillance of filling stations in the state.
Kingsley-Sundaye told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Eket that one of the petrol stations operated discreetly and illegally with neither a name nor operational licence from DPR.
He said: “The stations are illegal; they do not have any documentation with DPR. When any filling station does not pass through the last process and you are in operation, that station is illegal.
“Even if you have approval to construct and thereafter not follow the last process of finishing construction and you are not given the license, that station is illegal.’’
Kingsley-Sundaye noted that the owners of the filling stations had gone contrary to the Petroleum Act of 1969 which states that nobody can store or sell petroleum products without licence in Nigeria.
He said that the illegal stations encouraged diversion of petroleum products in the state because they are not supposed to lift products.
The DPR official said that the department was collaborating with sister agencies to prosecute all offenders.
Kingsely-Sundaye said: “In this criminal act, DPR will stand as witness to the Nigerian police to prosecute the offender so that the law will take its course.’’
He also said that 14 filling stations in the state were sealed for selling petrol above government approved pump price of N145 per litre.
Most of the filling stations, he said, had not renewed their DPR licence in the state, warning them to desist from violating the department’s seal order.
Kingsley-Sundaye, however, said that DPR would continue to encourage marketers, who claimed that they bought the product at a high price, to bring evidence to erring depots for further action.