Felix Olunkwa, Umuahia
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Abia State, on Monday, sealed seven filling stations in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, for selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) above the government-approved price of N145 per litre.
In a chat with Daily Sun at the City Base Hilltop Filling Station Umuahia, Manager Operations of DRR Umuahia Field Office, Engr. Ibinabo Jack, said that they were able to seal seven filling stations that were selling PMS above the government approved price.
“In our effort today, we were able to place a seal on seven stations for selling outside the regulated pump price of N145:00. We found them selling at N185:00 to N190:00,” he said.
When asked if there are other measures put in place for those who may go back to sell higher than N145, he said that DPR would mete out more stringent measures to those who would go back to sell the product higher than authorised.
“Yes DPR has a more stringent measure for those who may go back to sell higher than the normal price. If we find such stations it will be sealed for up to two months. And you know what it means to be out of business for that period of time. And that will serve as a deterrent to those that want to get involved in such practices,” he said.
In his response to Mr. Nwachukwu, the manager of Don Justus Oil Ltd, who claimed that they were selling the product according to the price they bought it from the depot, Jack said that the government has given the marketers the right to source their product from anywhere but must have to sell it at the government approved pump price of N145 at the retail outlet.
“If you source from a place that you will have to sell higher than the approved price then business sense should tell you not to source from that point that you will not make profit,” he said.
The NNPC Aba Road, Umuahia, was one of the filling stations sealed during the exercise on the grounds of PMS diversion while others were as a result of hike in price of the product as well as hoarding it to make more profit.
Some customers who spoke to Daily Sun could not hide their joy over the DPR’s intervention, saying they needed such actions while some others asked for more supply of the products on the part of government so that it would be readily available everywhere.