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DPR suspends building, operation of filling stations near borders

Nigeria’s oil and gas regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has suspended the applications for approval to construct and licence to operate filling stations located within 20 kilometres along border area indefinitely.

A notice seen by Daily Trust banned the retail of petroleum products and the processing of applications for approval to construct (APT) and license to operate (LTO) filling stations within 20 km the borders.

DPR in the notice said the directive was to complement the federal government’s efforts at curtailing smuggling of petroleum products across the country’s national borders.

“By this notice all depots and petroleum products suppliers are hereby advised to suspend supplies to these locations until further notice,” Paul Osu, DPR’s public affairs officer said in the notice adding that the suspension takes immediate effect.

The suspension comes a day after the Nigeria Customs Service said it would restrict the supply of petrol to filling station in the same region as part of measures to combat the illegal smuggling.

Reacting on the suspension, the National Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti said tankers drivers have no option than to comply with the government’s directive.

“Approval for petrol stations for marketers is by the federal government and if the federal government says we should not carry petrol to those areas, we don’t have any option than to comply because anything that is going to improve our economy and security, we will support it 100 per cent,” Oladiti said.

Asked the potential economic impact of the directive on tanker drivers, he said, “If the federal government says we should not carry products to the border, why should we be against it?”

SOURCE: DailyTrust