The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, says it has intensified surveillance of filling stations in Lagos State to ensure compliance with the approved pump price band for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
The Zonal Operations Controller, DPR, Lagos, Ayorinde Cardoso, made this known after an inspection visit to some petrol stations located in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki areas of the state.
Cardoso said the seven petrol stations inspected were selling fuel to customers between N162 to N165 per litre which was the approved price band.
“This surveillance visit is part of our regular function and we are coming out today to check product availability and product quality because we heard some information about water ingress in some of the tanks.
“We going out to check that. Also, we are looking at consumer protection so that they are not short-changed by under- dispensing.
“We have gone round to about seven stations and they are all selling within the approved pump price band,” he said.
Cardoso said the DPR sealed three fuel pumps that were under dispensing in one of the petrol stations, pending when they were rectified and re-evaluated by the regulatory agency.
According to him, though the agency has not discovered any incident of hoarding of petroleum products in the zone, its officials will continue to intensify surveillance on petrol stations.
He said : “I want to assure the public that the sufficiency level in Lagos State is okay and for now we have not seen any hoarding of products.
”Surveillance is a regular assignment for us and our officials are going round everyday for that purpose. ”
In a related development, DPR, Enugu Field Office on Monday sealed eight petrol stations in Enugu for dispensing Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, above the approved government pump price.
The Head, Operations, Afam Azuike, disclosed this on Monday in Ebugu, adding that three out of the affected petrol stations were later unsealed as they reverted to the government approved price of the product.
He said that the sealing of the defaulting petrol stations followed a public outcry over the weekend that petroleum marketers had arbitrarily increased the pump price of PMS.
Azuike said that the field office on Monday embarked on an aggressive surveillance in Enugu metropolis during which they inspected 29 petrol stations.
“We discovered that the major marketers sold between N162 and N175. They complained about the cost of the product at the depot as well as the freight charges from Lagos to Enugu.
“We are aware that government has not increased the price band of PMS which is on partial deregulation. The current price band is cost reflective, taking into cognizance the international cost of crude oil and cost of importation of refined products,” he said.
He said that the five that refused to revert would remain sealed and be sanctioned in line with the default regulations.
The head of operations further stated that they discovered that several petrol stations were under lock and key, adding that “we do not know whether they have products or not but the surveillance will continue.
“We noticed that there was panic buying of PMS in Enugu over the weekend but after this surveillance there will be free flow of products in the state.
“We want residents of the state to know that there is no fuel scarcity in the state,” he said.
Azuike appealed to transporters not to play into the hands of greedy petroleum marketers and to report anyone selling above the approved pump price.
“No one should be compelled to buy PMS above the approved pump price. Our office is always open and if you report defaulters we will swing into action,” he said.
He promised that the surveillance would continue in other states in the field. The scarcity of PMS led to a rise in the pump price of PMS in the state in the last four days as some petroleum marketers sold as high as N210 per litre.