The Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), a regulatory body for petroleum activities in Nigeria has backed Governor Ayo Fayose on his recent clampdown on some fuel marketers in the state which has resulted in his revocation of the licenses of some of them who were found to have violated regulations guiding the siting of the peterol stations.
Frowning at the development, an Official Comptroller of DPR, Mr Wale Oseni, who led the DPR team to Government House in Ado-Ekitin state capital, expressed displeasure at the seemingly arbitrary manner in which some marketers have sited their petrol stations in the state.
Oseni who revealed that his team was already beaming its searchlight into the activities of the petrol marketers in the state, cited a petrol station currently under construction in Adehun Area of Ado-Ekiti, as one of those against the regulations of the body and revealed that the station in question had failed to inform the DPR of its operation.
Describing the act as criminal, he noted that the owner tactfully covered up the construction work in order to keep it away from the public knowledge until it is completed, noting that such was unacceptable.
Speaking on siting of filling stations beside schools and residential areas, Oseni noted that retail outlets are not supposed to be cited close to schools particularly if the schools had been in existence before the filling stations.
He said: ” safety comes first and as a regulatory body, there must be a synergy between the DPR and marketers to know appropriate sites where they would locate their stations. I will in due time make my findings available to marketers in the state.
Explaining the rationale behind his government’s recent clampdown on marketers said to have violated the DPR’s regulations, Governor Ayodele Fayose disclosed that part of the efforts of the State government was to expose to the DPR, some alleged unwholesome under-dealings being perpetrated by some marketers.
“We have taken some of the steps we took to make the DPR see the situation of things here and to afford you the opportunity to see the sites of the controversial filling stations.
As much as the government would want ventures under its watch to thrive, it will not do so at the detriment of the lives and properties of others. The last fire incident in the state capital has challenged us to be proactive rather than engaging fire brigade approaches.”
According to the governor, the construction of the filling station at the Adehun Area of Ado-Ekiti was stopped by his government because it was being built on water ways after the last administration had demolished structures on the same land to ensure safety of lives and property.
Testifying to the danger inherent in allowing the said petrol station to be in the area, a woman who has her building beside the Adehun filling station, Mrs Victoria Agunbiade said that she had been challenging the owner of the filling station to stop the construction as the lives of the people in the area would be jeopardy if it was allowed.
Agunbiade who appealed to the state government to rescue the residents around the petrol station from the unyeilding marketers, noted that her house has been in existence in the area for over 30 years and she was not ready to suffer any loss should any fire incidence occurs in the filling station.