Anambra to monitor petrol stations with tampered metres

By Ikenna Obianeri

The Anambra State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Anthony Ifeanya, has said the ministry has concluded arrangements to embark on aggressive monitoring of petrol filling stations across the state.

Ifeanya said the state government is embarking on the exercise with a view to apprehending any filling station found to have tampered with their meters.

The commissioner stated this in Awka, the state capital, on Saturday while warning perpetrators of such acts to desist forthwith or face the full weight of the law.

It was learnt that the development came on the heels of “uncountable complaints” of “tampered meters”, “adulterated fuel” and shady deals by petroleum marketers being lodged at the state ministry of petroleum.

This is just as massive anger is brewing in the state as the pump price of petrol per litre has officially hit N970 in most filling stations across the state, while in some places, customers pay more to get the product.

When our correspondent went round major cities across the state on Saturday, it was observed that most filling stations were not dispensing the product and the few ones dispensing were besieged by motorists and other users of the product.

As a result of the development, transportation fares have suddenly soared above 100 per cent as commuters now pay N300 for a journey that they initially paid N200.

Checks by our correspondent revealed that most filling stations operating in Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Obosi and some parts of Awka, sold above N970 per litre.

However, NNPCL facilities located along the Awka-Enugu Road and in Onitsha were seen selling the product between N820 to N850 per litre.

A customer at one of the NNPCL outlets located around Onitsha, identified as Chukwudi, said, “The price of the commodity has not been stable in recent times, it has been floating, when you buy N920 today, tomorrow they tell you it is N970.

“Despite this daily increment, the meters have largely been tampered with as most times, the quantity of fuel we get is below the expected quantity it should be. Even if you use a keg to buy it, it is noticeable. Everything is just abnormal as far as petrol is concerned and people have been thrown into a helpless situation.”

So worried by the development and the series of complaints at his office, the commissioner for petroleum, Anthony Ifeanya, who described the acts as “cheating and inhumane”, especially in this hard time, declared that such acts are unacceptable to the state government.

He listed the dangers of adulterated petroleum products including higher emissions of dangerous gas, air pollution and inferno, which according to him, could lead to loss of lives and property, the commissioner frowned at the “get-rich-quick syndrome of some people even when it involves colossal loss of life and economic wastes”.

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