NSCDC Arrest 12 Marketers For Removing NMDPRA Seals
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, (NSCDC) has arrested 12 petroleum marketers for removing the seals belonging to the Nigeria Mainstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA) and also harassing the agency surveillance team of in Kogi State.
The Kogi Command made the arrest on Friday when they went round in collaboration with the surveillance team of NMDPRA to check the activities of some Petroleum Marketers whose filling stations were sealed by NMDPRA for operating illegally.
Our Kogi State Correspondent reports that in June that NMDPRA in Kogi State shut down over 50 filling stations for under dispensing, operating without NMDPRA storage and sale license.
Speaking on the recent arrest, the Spokesperson of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, Alex Agiri said the suspected Petroleum Marketers were arrested in Lokoja, Idah, Ankpa, Ayingba, and Ajaokuta.
According to him, “One can’t quantify the hardship this oil subsidy removal has brought to the populace. The Government is trying its best to see how the people who elected them to office have the privilege of enjoying the dividend of democracy.
“The Government thought it is wise it is important to take off fuel subsidies so that the money can be channeled for better things to develop the Country. On the other side you will discover that, those who are supposed to assist, collaborate with the Federal Government to see that this hardship is reduced to the barest minimum are the same people who are cutting corners.
“The 12 people that were 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 making sure that anything that has to do with oil is taken with keen interest 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 been sealed by this same Federal Government agency, a marketer will now go and remove the seal, begin to harass them or even beat them. That is a grievous offence.
“The Federal Government frowns at it and the NSCDC that has the mandate to enforce this arrest in line with the laid down rules in conjunction with the NMDPRA made the arrest of the 12 persons who have been found wanting. When you run foul on the law, the consequences will be melted out to those who are found wanting. This airing marketers will face the full wrath of the law.
Agiri, however, noted that the arrest should serve as a strong warning to others marketers, stressing that, the NSCDC will work assiduously with the NMDPRA towards making sure that illegal marketers, those involved in cutting corners are brought to book.
Also speaking, the State Coordinator NMDPRA Engr. Ogbe Orits Godwin said his surveillance team have been subjected to consistent harassment from some marketers who have violated the law.
“Our surveillance team must have access to all oil and gas fascilities in Kogi State without fear, intimidation from any source. Any marketers that tamper with NMDPRA seals will be handed over to the law enforcement agency for further prosecution.
“Marketers are hereby warned to follow all the gates of approval and upload all relevant documents required for the storage and sales license of their facilities.
“This marketers that have gone against the policies of the Government tampering with NMDPRA seals will be sanction for such infraction and the sum amount will be paid to the federation account or risk jail term as enshrined in the law” he stated.
Giving update on the activities of the agency in Kogi State, Godwin stated that, the agency has a total of 96 filling stations with expired license, adding that, out 50 which were sealed, as at this week, 46 so far have gone online to renew their license and upload all relevant documents to perfect the registration with NMDPRA.
Meanwhile, NMDPRA during the operation in collaboration with NSCDC sealed Dokkalhairu investment Nigeria limited Ajaokuta, Swift Oil, Ajaokuta Junction, along Itobe Road, for under dispensing Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol, while Oando filing station Ajaokuta was shut down for operating without operating license and A.A Akeya located in Itobe was sealed for selling cooking gas illegally.