COVID-19 lockdown: DPR monitors filling stations, warns against hoarding
Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday urged oil marketers to ensure distribution of petroleum products even with the stay at home order meant to check Coronavirus spread in the country.
The DPR Abuja Zonal Director, Mr Buba Abubakar, gave this advice at the DPR reinforcement of sales and distribution of petroleum products in Abuja.
He said that any filling station found hoarding products would be sanctioned, adding that Nigerians should avoid panic buying of products.
According to him, stock piling of products at home remains volatile with the current weather temperature.
“Any filling station, we found not selling, first, we will find out why it was not selling if they have products, then if the excuse is not genuine, we will seal it up.
“My general assessment is that everything is okay.
”Nigerians should not go into panic buying, we are seriously trying to stop people from buying with Jerry cans because of the temperature we have today, it is dangerous.
“There is availability of products, people are working, sales are ongoing, there is no cause for alarm,’’ he said
Abubakar said that the DPR had made adequate arrangement to ensure availability of products to dispense to Nigerians even in the hinterland.
“We have our surveillance team, if we get any call, remember our numbers are on our website.
”So, if we get any call, we will dispatch people to anywhere within the Abuja and its environs,” he said.
Abubakar while commenting on the depots shutting down, said the depots were at work, and that the DPR and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had stationed their representatives at various depots to monitor development
“We have reps and the depots are working 24 hours from the ships that brought the fuel to the tank farm, to the retail outlet.
”we have DPR, PPPRA representatives, along all value chain, we have our reps for enforcement,’’ he added
Some of the filling stations visited by the team in the FCT were opened but had low patronage as Nigerians complied with the stay-at-home order by the government.
At Conoil in Kado Estate, the Manager, Mr Godwin Aghogho, said that the station opened at around 7 a.m. but had low patronage.
He said that they had adequate products and would continue to dispense to people who come to buy.
At Another Conoil station Opposite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, observed that it was dispensing with two petrol pumps with government official vehicles in queue to buy the products.
The Manager of the station Mr Lawrence Ogbagha, said that some of its staff was unable to come to work due to restrictions by police and transportation challenge.
“As you can see, we are selling but the only problem we are having is that some of the security men on the road, when you show them your ID card that you are working with filling stations, they say no that federal government did approve filling stations to open.
“Some of my staff cannot come and that is why all my pumps are not dispensing.
“Another issue is transportation, some of us have car to move around, most of the pump attendants don’t have cars that is major challenge,’’ he said.
Ogbagha noted that it opened sales for the day with 66,050 litres of petrol, adding that it had two trucks on ground yet to be discharged.
He assured that station had enough products to dispense to Nigerian at all times.
Also, at Total filling station at the Central Business District, the Assistant Manager, Mr Bature Yaki, said that it had 33,000 litres of petrol and was currently discharging a truck.
“We are not selling now because we are discharging, this is security style.
”We have been selling before the trucks came. After discharging, we will restart selling,’’ he said