The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday warned major and independent fuel marketers to refrain from diverting petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
Mr Bassey Nkanga, the DPR Operation Controller in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, gave the warning in Calabar.
“We will not hesitate to seal any filling station that diverts its product to neighbouring countries.
“Just two weeks ago, we sealed the NNPC filling station in Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River for fuel diversion.
“Petroleum products meant for the station was allegedly being diverted to Cameroon before it was intercepted by our men.
“The truck was conveying 40,000 litres of fuel and heading to Bakassi Local Government Area from where it would be taken to Cameroon through the Ikang border,’’ Nkanga said.
He said further that the filling station would remain sealed for 90 days until its management paid the fine of N200 per litre for the 40,000 litres involved.
According to the DPR controller, the fuel scarcity that was witnessed a few weeks ago across the country was caused partly by fuel diversion to other countries.
“Now that there is a massive improvement in fuel supply to all depots across the country, I wish to issue a warning to fuel marketers to desist from diverting the products to other countries,’’ he said.
Nkanga said the department had since set up a surveillance team to monitor all petroleum products being lifted from the Calabar depot to various filling stations in Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
He urged marketers to complement government’s efforts by making the products available in all filling stations across the country.
The controller added that he would continue to canvass for more fuel supply to Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.