DPR seals off petroleum ‘deport’ in Katsina over illegal fuel diversion
The Department of Petroleum Resources, on Thursday, sealed off a filling station in Jibia, Katsina State, for product diversion.
It was learnt that the DPR took the decision after investigation revealed that the station was a beehive of smuggling activities.
Nigerien smugglers of petroleum products, working with their Nigerian counterparts, were said to have taken advantage of the location of the station to smuggle products across the border.
Findings revealed that the smugglers always visited the station at odd hours to buy products in jerry cans, which they load onto motorcycles for onward journey across Nigeria’s porous borders with its northern neighbours.
One of the smugglers, who declined to give his name, told our correspondent that the products were usually resold for a profit in Nigerien towns and villages.
The DPR officials, who stormed the station on Wednesday, met some of the smugglers buying products.
Most of those at the station took to their heels on sighting the DPR operational vehicles and officials.
The Operation Controller of the Katsina field office of the DPR, Mohammed Sani, told Northern City News that he and his team stormed the station following the discovery that it was supplied with about 80,000 litres of fuel on Monday and Tuesday.
He said he and his colleagues were shocked to find out that the station had only 7,000 litres of fuel by Wednesday, despite the fact that it was supplied huge quantity of fuel two days earlier.
The agency consequently sealed off the station and directed either the station manager or the owner to report at the DPR field headquarters in Katsina to offer explanations on what happened to the 80,000 litres of fuel supplied to the station.