The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) , Abeokuta field office on has warned marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) operating illegally in the state to desist or face strict sanctions.
The Operations Controller, Mrs Muinat Bello-Zagi said this on Thursday during a strategic engagement meeting with relevant agencies and stakeholders stakeholders in Abeokuta.
She said the major reason for the meeting is as a result of the proliferation of illegal gas retailers and skid owners, as well as illegal petrol marketers in the state.
She noted that though, the federal government is encouraging the use of LPG, the operators were not following laid down guidelines which according to her, makes their operations illegal.
Bello-Zagi said the DPR understands the ease of doing business but urged these illegal operators to do the needful as the the Department would not compromise safety for anyone.
“Some of them have attributed their wrongdoings to the socioeconomic effects occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources wants the deepening of LPG penetration but these operators are not going through the proper channel and this makes their operations illegal.
“We will continue to enforce and sanction. We’ve been sealing quite a number of them and we’ll continue to do so.
“Some of our agencies and stakeholders have also noticed these lapses and so we decided to come together to have this strategic engagement to discuss how we can improve our services and it has been fruitful,” she said.
The operations controller also mentioned that some petroleum marketers have moved to ” 25 to 30 kilometres” away from border towns to site filling stations without proper approval.
Recall that the federal government had in November 2019 ordered that fuel stations close to the land borders should no longer get petroleum products in order to tighten security and ensure strict compliance to border closure.
She explained that the stakeholders meeting was important to further collaborate on how to regularise the operations of some illegal operators in ogun state so as to ensure a safe environment for all.
“Once a proponent, especially someone that is into illegality knows that all agencies governing his or her operation are aware of what they’re doing, it will reduce illegality,” she added.
Also speaking, the Mr Fatai Adefala, Director, Ogun State Fire Services expressed optimism that the meeting will promote further collaborative efforts of government.
He said they would work together as a team to achieve what other states can emulate and reproduce.
Stakeholders at the meeting include the Ogun Fire Service, the Nigeria Custom Service, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development among others.