The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has sealed 30 filling stations and eight liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, outlets for various offence in Akwa Ibom.
The state Operations Controller of DPR, Victor Ohwodiasa, said this when he spoke with newsmen in Eket, headquarters of Eket Local Government Area of, LGA, of the state on Thursday.
Mr Ohwodiasa said the filling stations and LPG outlets were sealed for offences ranging from under dispensing, operating without valid sales and storage license, poor house keeping, poorly sited and illegally operating in the state.
“I can authoritatively tell you that we have sealed 30 filling stations and 8 gas outlets for operating illegally in the state.
“We cannot continue to allow illegality because we don’t need accident to occur first, we just have to be proactive instead of being reactive.
“It is going to be a continuous fight because people are constraints because of the environmental condition, economic hardship, they want to cut corners and that is why we have regulators to check them,” Mr Ohwodiasa said.
He said the filling stations sealed were located in Eket, Uyo and Onna LGAs of the state.
“We are drawing a plan to touch all the 31 LGAs of the state, cutting across not just filling stations but gas outlets so that they can have the feel of our presence in the state,” Mr Ohwodiasa said.
He said the department would be proactive in order to ensure that gas retail outlets and gas plants were operating within safety procedures that govern the oil and gas industry.
He said DPR would sensitise retail outlets operators and gas plants because some of them ventured into the business ignorantly.
“Nobody will want to go into business without conducting due diligence, feasibility study or safety audit to ensure that what are the safety implications of my actions or in actions.
“We need to educate them because nobody want to kill himself, nobody want to invest in a facility and allowed the facility to go down over night.
“So, we need to continue to educate them on safety implications of what they are doing wrongly and the need for them to correctively do it, so that we will not have ugly incident in the state,” he said.
Mr Ohwodiasa said the department would partner with town planning authorities in the state to discourage citing of gas or filling stations in residential areas.
He urged residents to report any perceived illegal activity in filling stations and gas plants to DPR for further action.