THE Department of Petroleum Resources on Friday clashed with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, as fuel scarcity continues to worsen across the country.
The conflict occurred after the Kwara State Operations Controller, DPR, Mr. Salvation Phillip, and his team sealed some petrol filing stations belonging to IPMAN members in the state for allegedly defying the DPR’s directives.
The sealed filling stations were alleged to have been unsealed illegally by the IPMAN members
In an interview with journalists, Phillip said discipline and compliance to Federal Government’s directives and petroleum laws by operators were essential for the growth of the sector.
He decried the action of IPMAN members who allegedly opened the petrol stations, adding that it was wrong for them to have taken laws into their hands.
Phillip reiterated the DPR’s determination to enforce government’s directives and laws of the petroleum industry. He added that the DPR would not abdicate its responsibilities.
He said, “The price the government approved for petrol to be sold must be adhered to. We are to ensure that the price is adhered to and that the public gets the product.
“The unsealing of the petrol stations is a security issue and there are law enforcement agencies with us. They have seen what has transpired.”
Phillip had led a DPR enforcement team to monitor the sale of petrol and to ensure adherence to the federal government’s approved price of N85.50 per litre for independent marketers.
The DPR team was returning after sealing the Great Pacific Nigeria Limited filling station along the Ajase-Ipo Road in Ilorin for allegedly hoarding about 9,500 litres of petrol when an IPMAN branded bus conveying the association’s officials and members led by the factional chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Okanlawom, trailed the DPR team.
As Phillip and his team continued monitoring at another petrol station along Ajase-Ipo, named Joy By Joy Investment Nigeria Limited, the IPMAN team also came there.
An argument ensued between Okanlawon and Phillip, even in the midst of security operatives who provided security for the DPR team.
Apparently angered by the altercation, the DPR boss ordered that the petrol station should be sealed.
Shortly after the DPR officials sealed the petrol station, the visibly angered IPMAN members opened it. They were said to have boasted that they would unseal any petrol station sealed by the DPR.