The Department of Petroleum Resources, in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, had shut down 23 illegal filing stations and arrested 19 operators in Plateau State.
The affected stations were in Jos North, Jos South, Jos East, Bassa, Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas.
DPR Operations Controller, Jos field office, Jerome Agada, told journalists that the stations also sold products above the approved price, saying those arrested would be sanctioned and prosecuted accordingly.
“The operators of these filling stations did not come for us to guide them on their operations neither are they documented with us. So, they did not follow due process in setting up the stations. And since we don’t even have them on record, we cannot monitor or regulate them. That is the challenge we are facing.
“Again, these illegal operators are the ones who usually cheat the public because they buy from wrong sources instead of major marketers. They also don’t want to pay the required fee to the government. But this time around, we will not allow them, and we will bring them to book,” he said.
“The issue of illegal stations has become a societal menace. Imaging siting a gas plant close to residential areas. That is very dangerous to the lives of the people if there is an explosion,” he said.
The commandant of the NSCSC in the state, Solomon Olasupo, said those arrested would be prosecuted.