Alhaji Ibrahim Ciroma, the Adamawa Controller of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has raised concern over what he described as worrisome smuggling of petroleum products in the state.
Ciroma raised the alarm on Tuesday while speaking to newsmen after inspection of some filling stations in Yola.
He said that DPR had discovered a trend in filling stations in Yola where one to three trucks laden with fuel in filling stations would be seen waiting to discharge their contents only for the trucks to later disappear overnight without discharging the contents.
“When they vanished you know where they are likely to be, they may go to the border and cross. This is becoming worrisome.
“This has become the trend and we will continue to follow up to ensure that no product gets out of our border.
“We are now monitoring movement of the trucks and any single truck that is not accounted, the marketer will face sanction; we will charge such marketer N275 per litre and seal the station if he fails to pay.
“We are going to do that because the rate at which fuel is finding its way across the border is unacceptable and I will also seize this opportunity to call on security agencies manning our borders to please step up their operations,” he said.
Ciroma, who noted that the Federal Government was spending a lot on subsidy and bridging cost, said those engaged in smuggling were highly unpatriotic because they collect the product at subsidised rate and sale it in Cameroon for over N300 per litre.
reiterating the commitment of DPR to work with security agencies to expose the criminals, he said DPR had discovered 45 illegal filling stations in Adamawa.
“We gave the filling stations two months to cease operation but they refused.
“We have communicated the development to the police and copied other security agencies,” Ciroma said.
He also said that DPR would not condone the practice of keeping loaded trucks in filling stations because of the dangers involved.
“Yola is a very hot place, if you keep loaded petrol trucks in the scorching sun anything can happen; if it catches fire it would burn down the filling station and all the people around.
“We can’t compromise safety in the petroleum industry,” Ciroma said.