The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has assured consumers across the country that there won’t be queues caused by scarcity of petroleum products in filling stations at the festive period.
DPR said the Federal Government had put all necessary measures in place to ensure adequate supply of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) and other products throughout the Yuletide.
Speaking to the Nation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, DPR Operation Controller, Yenagoa Field Office, Mrs. Ejiro Ufondu, said the department established regular routine surveillance to monitor activities of marketers to stop hoarding and other sharp practices.
She said any station found hoarding products to create artificial scarcity and jack up pump prices would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
She said the challenges of last year festive period when marketers hoarded products and engaged in other sharp practices thereby creating tension and artificial scarcity in the state would not happen this year.
Ufondu noted that 35 out of 126 active filling stations were still undergoing documentation to renew their licenses and advised them to take advantage of the October to November renewal window to get new licenses.
Noting that 50 retail outlets had been abandoned in the state, she said the Yenagoa Field Office topped the list in Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) as no accidents and fire disasters involving filling stations and tankers occurred in Bayelsa.
She said: “Scarcity of petroleum products will not happen this year at the festive period. The Federal Government has put in all necessary measures to see to it that we have pleasant enjoyable festive season.
“The NNPC has assured us that they have provided enough products to sustain us for this festive season. We have established routine surveillance to stop hoarding. They go out every day to check the activities of marketers.
“When we go for surveillance we check whether they are operating or not operating. If they are operating we check their pumps because the common complaint is under-dispensing. Occasionally we see cases of over-dispensing. If the pumps are under-dispensing, we seal their stations.
“We stepped up our surveillance aggressively this year. We have put all the marketers on their toes because they know there is no hiding place. We dip their tanks to know their level of products. If we dip your tanks, you have products but you are not selling, there is only one explanation, you are hoarding.
“But if we dip your tank there is product and you are selling, everything is fine. This year is a lot better because we stepped up our surveillance. When we seal your stations, we hand you over to other law enforcement agencies. We have not had major issues with adulteration so far in Bayelsa State.
“We don’t have depots here. The marketers from here load from our neighboring states. We are totally dependent on our neighbors, Delta and Rivers until the modular refinery under construction comes in stream”.
Addressing consumers and marketers, she said: “Enjoy your Yuletide. You will not have any scarcity of any petroleum products this year. I can assure you that not just in Bayelsa but anywhere in the country.
“As for the marketers, there is no place to hide in Bayelsa State. We know where all retail outlets are. We have a law and we will use the law to ensure that everyone who has product is selling and if there is any infraction, we will seal and hand over such stations to appropriate law enforcement agents. It is better to do the right thing. Compliance is a lot cheaper than non-compliance.”