James Azania, Lokoja
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed 18 illegal sale outlets in Kogi.
It expressed concerns over the sprouting of illegal liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas, retail outlets.
The DPR during a three-day surveillance mission across the state led by the head of operations, Odofin Musiliu, declared the outlets operated without valid license.
Others sealed were found to have been sited too close to residential areas in violation of the criterion for issuance of operating license.
Twelve of those sealed were illegal add-on LPG outlets attached to petrol filling stations.
One of the operators of a cooking gas outlet in Idah, Mr. Ayegba Achimugu, explained that he was in the process of getting the business registered but for the unclear policy direction of the government.
“I have registered with the CAC. We heard that they will soon stop operation of skid (small tanks – 2.5 tons). So, I was waiting for clearer directions,” he said.
One of the sealed outlets was sandwiched between residential buildings in Idah and other areas in Kabba, Kogi West where a wooden store was built on the plot of land hosting the gas tanker.
No less than three LPG sales outlets were sealed in Idah for operating without valid operating license while several fuel (PMS) stations ran foul of correct under-dispensing and short cutting the public.
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Speaking shortly after the commencement of the sensitisation campaign in Kabba on Wednesday, the Controller of DPR in Kogi State, Amos Jokodola, said that the dangers in operating such outlets, particularly in residential areas were incalculable.
He said that the department would not fold its arms and watch people endanger their lives and those of others, adding that it was determined in addressing the anomaly decisively.
According to him: “We are not interested in inflicting hardship on any one, but to tell them on the need to regularise their documents and obtain the necessary permits.”
He said that the aim of the campaign was to enlighten operators on the need to be safety conscious when dispensing products.