The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Police in Niger said that they would collaborate to stop unwholesome activities of unlicensed filling stations in the state.
Mr Abdullahi Isah, the DPR Controller in the state, made this known on Wednesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
NAN reports that the state government has set up a task force to monitor supply, distribution and sale of petroleum products at filling stations in the state.
Isah said that unlicensed filling stations included operators of filling stations without licence and those selling in jerry cans.
“The DPR will partner with the police to ensure that unlicensed filling stations and those selling fuel in jerry cans stop in the state.
“From the report available to us now, they are exploring the avenue created by the fuel scarcity to exploit people by adulterating fuel.
“It is against the law to operate an illegal filling station in this country, talk less of selling fuel in jerry cans. So, they will be arrested and prosecuted,’’ he said.
The controller advised motorists not to patronise unlicensed filling stations and black marketers, selling in jerry cans, “because they mix (adulterate) fuel to make more money’’.
He said that reduction of queues in the state was due to the increase in supply of petrol by the Federal Government.
“In the last four to five days the number of trucks we received in Niger State has increased.
“Before now we received one or zero truck per day, but now we receive 10 to 25 trucks per day. So, there is great improvement.’’
Similarly, the Spokesman for Police in the state, ASP Bala Elkana, told NAN that the command was collaborating with the task force set up by the state government to reduce hardship occasioned by fuel scarcity.
“I am warning the black marketers of fuel in Niger State to stop the business and look for alternative source of livelihood because they are not licensed to sell the product.
`We will arrest and prosecute any person caught selling fuel in illegal filling stations or in jerry cans,’’ he said.
Alhaji Murtala Musa, the Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, confirmed the Federal Government’s promise to carry the association along in the distribution of fuel.
“Capital Oil has been supplying PMS to major marketers in the state as directed by government, but will start the supply of fuel to our members on Wednesday.
“So, we are waiting for the supply of products. As soon as we get it, we will sell at the approved rate of N86.50 per litre which will further ease the scarcity,’’ he said. (NAN)