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DPR Warns against Circulation of Substandard Lubricants

…Seals 15 illegal Gas Retail Outlets in Kogi

-By Danlami Nasir Isah

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Bauchi, North-East Nigeria, has cautioned retailers against the circulation of substandard Base Oil (Lubricant) products. Mr. Abdullahi Iliyasu, the Controller Operations of the Department, gave the charge in Bauchi. Illiyasu said the Department had organised a two-day sensitisation workshop to create awareness on the dangers of using unprocessed lubricant (engine oil) in vehicles and other machines.

He said that the workshop targeted marketers of Base oil products to educate them on dangers associated with using such substandard products. “Unprocessed and substandard Lubricant (engine oil) cause damage to the engines of movable and unmovable machines such as cars, lorries, and power generators as it does not contain the necessary ingredients of processed oil.

“The usage of unprocessed engine oil constitutes a serious health hazard and contaminates the environment,” he said. Iliyasu called on retailers and dealers of such products to obtain business licenses and adhere to set standards. He advised marketers to source the products from the certified lubricating plants such as Oando, Total, and Amasco Companies, stressing that their products were of good quality.

According to him, the Department has registered seven companies to establish Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants in the state. He said the plants would be sited in seven Local Government Areas, adding that: “We will soon issue stipulated guidelines governing their operations.”

The controller added that prospectus businesses could obtain electronic licensing and permit online. He explained that the procedure of obtaining the licence and permit would be completed within 24 and 48-hours, adding that the agency was committed to ensuring compliance to extant rules and regulations governing its operations. DPR had sealed a number of fuel servicing stations in the state for violations of the rules and operational guidelines.

In another development, DPR has sealed off 15 retail gas outlets in Lokoja, Kogi State North Central Nigeria for illegal dealings.

The operators of the outlets were subsequently arrested and handed over to men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence who were part of the special committee set up to go round the city.

Speaking during the raid, the Chief operating officer, Idris Mohammed said that the raid became necessary in view of the proliferation of retail outlets sited in residential areas in violation of the safety rules laid down by the DPR.

He said that the affected outlets have refused to heed to the repeated calls on them to approach DPR to obtain necessary guidelines for operating retail outlets.

Mohammed described siting of retail outlets in residential areas as a time bomb which can explode at any time if not urgently addressed.

“We have repeatedly called the affected retailers to visit us to obtain necessary information and guidelines on what they need to do to qualify them to operate gas retail outlets but they have refused, we also have some cases of those outlets we have sealed off before but are still operating in violation of the rules”.

The Chief operating officer said that the affected retailers have been handed over to the NSCDC for profiling and prosecution after investigation.