The Department of Petroleum Resources in Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, sealed 21 filling stations for failing to renew their licences for the month of March.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, who stated this while speaking with journalists in the Eket Local Government Area of the state, also said the department had clamped down on four illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas refilling points in Uyo
“We have sealed 21 filling stations in our aggressive surveillance carried out in March. We discovered that the 21 filling stations were operating with expired licences in the Eket Local Government Area,” he stated.
Kingsley-Sundaye, however, said that four of the affected filling stations had complied and their applications were being processed.
The operations controller lamented the rate at which people, in the name of doing business, just sit down and connect pipes to cylinders, thereby endangering the lives of others.
“People just rent two-room apartments and connect some pipes to 50kg cylinders and do a construction that is unknown to any engineering standard. It is a criminal offence and is dangerous to the public” he said.
Kingsley-Sundaye stated that the department, in collaboration with sister agencies, had dismantled three out of the four illegal LPG refilling points in the state.
“One is still under seal; we will dismantle it because such a business is illegal construction. I don’t know where they got the idea from; we can’t even call it technology,” he lamented.
The DPR official warned the operators and people who wanted to venture into such an illegal business to desist from it or face the wrath of the law, adding that anyone caught would be prosecuted.
Kingsley-Sundaye said, “We must make sure that we insist that the right thing is done in this state; there is no safety device, no engineering design and no environmental safety in such a business.
“If we don’t act fast, it will be like the one we experienced in a neighbouring state. We will not allow it to degenerate to that level; that is why we are clamping down on them.”
He called on the public to report such illegal business to security agencies and the DPR for prompt action.