The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp has arrested 12 petroleum marketers for removing the seals belonging to the Nigeria Mainstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and also harassing the agency’s surveillance team in Kogi State.

The NSCDC Kogi Command made the arrest on Friday when they went round in collaboration with the surveillance team of NMDPRA to check the activities of some petroleum marketers whose filling stations were sealed by NMDPRA for operating illegally.
It could be recalled in June that NMDPRA in Kogi State shut down over 50 filling stations for under dispensing, operating without NMDPRA storage and sale license.

Speaking on the recent arrest, the NSCDC Spokesperson, Alex Agiri, said the suspected petroleum marketers were arrested in Lokoja, Idah, Ankpa, Ayingba, and Ajaokuta.
He said, “The 12 people that were arrested today by NSCDC in collaboration with NMDPRA have been found wanting in the areas of under dispensing, they are also harassing the officials of NMDPRA who are saddled with the responsibility of regulating their activities.

“The role of NSCDC is that we collaborate with the NMDPRA in making sure that anything that has to do with oil is taken with a keen interest in terms of dispensing, location of the product, and many more. It is against the rule that when a filling station is found wanting and being sealed by this same Federal Government agency, a marketer will now go and remove the seal, begin to harass them, or even beat them. That is a grievous offence.

“The Federal Government frowns at it and the NSCDC has the mandate to enforce this arrest in line with the laid down rules in conjunction with the NMDPRA made the arrest of the 12 persons who have been found wanting. When you run foul of the law, the consequences will be meted out to those who are found wanting. These erring marketers will face the full wrath of the law.”

Agiri, however, noted that the arrest should serve as a strong warning to other marketers, stressing that, the NSCDC will work assiduously with the NMDPRA towards making sure that illegal marketers, those involved in cutting corners are brought to book.
Also speaking, the NMDPRA State Coordinator, Ogbe Godwin, said his surveillance team has been subjected to consistent harassment from some marketers who have violated the law.

“Our surveillance team must have access to all oil and gas facilities in Kogi State without fear, or intimidation from any source. Any marketers that tamper with NMDPRA seals will be handed over to the law enforcement agency for further prosecution.
“Marketers are hereby warned to follow all the gates of approval and upload all relevant documents required for the storage and sales license of their facilities.

“This marketers that have gone against the policies of the government tampering with NMDPRA seals will be sanctioned for such infraction and the sum amount will be paid to the federation account or risk jail term as enshrined in the law,” he stated.


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