DPR suspends filling station construction in border areas

The Department of Petroleum Resources has suspended the processing of applications for approval to construct and license the operation of filling stations within 20km along Nigeria’s border areas.

It also warned suppliers of petroleum products to areas within 20km along the borders to suspend it or face the wrath of the law.

The Head, Public Affairs, DPR, Paul Osu, disclosed this to our correspondent on Wednesday, while responding to an enquiry on what the agency was doing, following claims by a federal legislator that it (DPR) had yet to make any clarification on the issue.

Osu said, “In response to your enquiry, the DPR in its capacity as the petroleum regulatory agency of Nigeria actually suspended operations of petrol stations within 20km along Nigeria’s borders, as well as suspended the issuance of Approval to Construct and License to Operate until further notice.”

The DPR said the suspension was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts at curtailing smuggling of petroleum products across Nigeria’s borders.

In a document dated November 8, 2019, which was obtained from the department on Wednesday, the DPR said, “The Director of Petroleum Resources has ordered the immediate suspension of operations of all petroleum products retail outlets within 20km along Nigeria’s border areas until further notice.

“Also suspended until further notice is the processing of applications for Approval to Construct and License to Operate within 20km along Nigeria’s border areas.”

In a circular dated November 6, 2019, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali, announced the suspension of the supply of fuel (diesel and petrol) to filling stations to all Nigerian borders.

To ensure compliance among its members, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers told our correspondent that it was establishing a task force and redesigning its stickers.

The union’s General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, said, “Right now, we are trying to redesign our stickers and again, we are setting up a task force to ensure compliance.”

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