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The Department of Petroleum Resources has sealed four filling stations in Anambra State for alleged diversion of fuel.

The operators of two other outlets were reprimanded for selling the product above the recommended pump price of N145, while the DPR officials forced five other stations to sell at the normal price.

The affected filling stations are located in Ogbunike, Onitsha, Nkpor, Obosi and Nnewi.

The News agency of Nigeria reports that fuel now sells for between N185 and N200 per litre in Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, the Head of Safety, Environment and Health Department, DPR, Mr. Linus Ikegbunam, who led a five-man enforcement team on the clampdown, said the marketers were suspected not to have discharged products meant for their stations accordingly.

Ikegbunam said the filling stations sealed for suspected diversion had the product designated for them as contained in their manifests.

He said the DPR was worried about the rising cases of product diversion, especially at this time of supply challenges but assured the people that the agency was ready to combat the menace.

He wondered why a marketer, who procured as much as between 40,000 and 50,000 litres of petrol,would not sell to the people but would rather divert them to other locations.

He said the stations would remain closed until investigations were concluded on them and warned that those found culpable would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Selling above the government approved price of N145 is an offence and that is why we enforced compliance at some stations. Stations whose officials were habitual offenders were also sealed and penalised,” Ikegbunam added.

However, the marketer at Seaman’s Petroleum, Mr. Geoffrey Anioke, said it had been difficult procuring products in the last two months, which, according to him, made it impossible to sell at the government approved price.

Anioke said selling petrol at N145, when the landing price was between N165 and N170, was a huge loss for them.

He urged the Federal Government and the NNPC to supply enough petrol to eliminate black market and artificial price increase.

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