The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Cross River, on Wednesday in Calabar, threatened to shut down filling stations in the state without registered operating licence.

DPR Operations Controller in the state, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, gave this warning at a meeting with the officials of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Nkanga said that the department reminded oil marketers in the state on October 31, 2017 on the need to renew their operating licences, adding that the dateline for registration had since elapsed on March 31.

According to him, DPR would soon embark on ‘operation display your renewed licence in your filing station or be shut down’.

He told the oil marketers that any filling station shut down during the operation, the owner would have to pay a fine of N250,000 before it could be reopened for business.

“Any moment from now, we will embark on an intensified operation to ensure that marketers, who have not renewed their licences are not allowed to operate.

“We have more than 600 filling stations in Cross River and it is sad to know that only a little above 100 have their valid registered licences.

“To prevent any embarrassment, IPMAN members should display their renewed licences in their filling stations henceforth,’’ he said.

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The Operations Controller frowned at marketers, who were in the habit of adjusting their fuel pump to short-change customers.

He further warned that any filling station under-dispensing petroleum product would face the wrath of the law.

On the issue of kerosene explosion in the state, Nkanga said that the organisation would partner with IPMAN in the state to drastically reduce the influx of adulterated product.

“Don’t buy doubtful product from anybody apart from the licensed depot; anyone, who buys adulterated product and there is an explosion in any corner, that person will face the necessary sanctions.

“DRP is well equipped in checking petrol stations across the state to ensure that the right thing is done,’’ he said.

IPMAN Chairman in Cross River State, Mr. Lawrence Agim, expressed sadness on the incessant kerosene explosions in the state.

Agim said that many families had been affected by such explosions.

He lauded the state DPR for always holding regular meetings with them in order to appraise the situation of petroleum product in the state.