NSCDC arrests 12 petrol marketers for reopening sealed stations in Kogi

THE Kogi state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 12 petroleum marketers for offences bordering on removing seals belonging to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and harassing the agency’s surveillance team in the state.

The NSCDC, in collaboration with an NMDPRA’s surveillance team, made the arrest on Friday, July 7 while on patrol to monitor petroleum marketers whose filling stations had been sealed for operating illegally.

According to the command’s spokesperson, Alex Agiri, the operatives arrested the 12 marketers in Lokoja, Idah, Ankpa, Dekina, and Ajaokuta local government areas of the state.

The NMDPRA in Kogi State had in June sealed over 50 filling stations for under-dispensing and operating without an NMDPRA storage and sale licence.

Speaking on the arrest, Agiri said, “The 12 people arrested today by NSCDC in collaboration with NMDPRA have been found wanting in the areas of under-dispensing. They are also harassing the officials of NMDPRA who are saddled with the responsibility of regulating their activities.

“The role of NSCDC is that we collaborate with the NMDPRA in ensuring we take keen interest in anything that has to do with oil in terms of dispensing, location of the product and many more. It is against the rule that when a filling station is found wanting and sealed by this same Federal government agency, a marketer will remove the seal, begin to harass our officials, or even beat them. That is a grievous offence.

“When you run foul of the law, the consequences will be meted out to you. These erring marketers will face the full wrath of the law.”

He said the arrest would serve as a deterrent to other marketers,  stressing that the NSCDC would continue to work with the NMDPRA to ensure that unlawful marketers engaged in unethical practices are held accountable.






     

     

    The NMDPRA Kogi state coordinator, Ogbe Orits Godwin, lamented that the surveillance team had been subjected to consistent harassment from some marketers.

    Godwin said, “Our surveillance team must have access to all oil and gas facilities in Kogi State without fear or intimidation from any source. Any marketer that tampers with NMDPRA seals will be handed over to the law enforcement agency for further prosecution.”

    He warned marketers to upload all relevant documents required for the storage and sales licence of their facilities.

    “These marketers that have gone against the policies of the government tampering with NMDPRA seals will be sanctioned for such infraction and the sum amount will be paid to the Federation account, or they will risk jail term as enshrined in the law,” he added. 

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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