NNPC (1)The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is said to be considering more stringent measures in its bid to check fraudulent activities in the downstream petroleum sector.

The latest measures, THISDAY gathered, will include sealing off erring filling stations that indulge in malpractices for as long as six months; and handing their managers over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

Sources at the agency hinted at the weekend that the DPR has been inundated with complaints from the general public on price manipulation and under-dispensing of petroleum products by filling station attendants and had taken steps to check activities of fraudulent oil marketers.

Some of the petrol stations in Lagos, alleged to be indulging in price manipulation and product under-dispensing are: Total Petrol Stations on Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja and Jibowu, Forte Oil in Gbagada, Mobil Petrol Stations on Kudirat Abiola Way and Ikorodu Road, Lagos and most filling stations owned by independent oil marketers.

The DPR recently warned that marketers who indulged in sharp practices would be sanctioned and or their licences withdrawn.
Also, as part of measures put in place to ensure transparency in downstream operation, the DPR had directed marketers to dismantle back-loading pumps at their depots to stem petroleum products round tripping.

Other measures listed by the agency included: full deployment of trucking implementation policy; digitalisation of critical retail outlet operational data; migration of license administration to electronic processing platform through the National Data Repository ( NDR), upgrading of the operational standards of depot facilities, installation of metering facilities at the inlet pipeline headers for adequate products accounting, and the replacement of fixed roof with floating roof for all premium motor spirit (PMS) storage tanks to eliminate environmental hazard.  In the last six months, the agency has sealed over 2,000 filling stations across the country for offences ranging from products under-dispensing, hoarding and selling of products above government approved pump prices