No fewer than 13 filling stations in Badagry, Lagos State, have been sealed for allegedly tampering with their meters in order to cheat customers. two Total filling stations, an MRS filling station and two Energy filling stations were allegedly involved in the act.
Others are Dalco, Royal Stream, Lasbat, Ramos, JWMS, Jackos, Olubisi Obinja and NYBO filling stations.
The affected filling stations reportedly under-dispensed fuel between 0.4 and 1 litre in every 10 litres of petrol sold to unsuspecting members of the public.
They were sealed on Thursday by officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources backed up by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Command.
A source told our correspondent on Sunday that the command had received reports from some customers, lamenting that the fuel sold to them at the filling stations did not commensurate with the amount they paid.
“But because the NSCDC does not have the power to seal filling stations, the DPR was informed about what was going in the filling stations. On Thursday, two NSCDC teams gave DPR officials security back-up to the Badagry area.
“It was discovered that 13 filling stations dispensed fuel below the standard metering. They have been sealed up and their owners have several questions to answer before the DPR,” the source added.
A member of the team that carried out the operation told PUNCH Metro on condition of anonymity that the stations manipulated their meters, thinking nobody would know.
“The filling stations are on the outskirts; so the operators were cashing in on the location to perpetrate the act,” he said.
The state commandant of the NSCDC, Tajudeen Balogun, said the corps would continue to fight every manifestation of crime in the state and provide necessary support to sister agencies.
He said, “We got information that some filling stations were under-dispensing, which means that if you pay for 10 jerrycans of fuel, what you eventually get is about eight jerrycans. We did further investigation and confirmed that it was true. By the law, it is the DPR that normally seals up filling stations. “We contacted the DPR and gave them security back-up to Badagry. Two Total and Energy filling stations were sealed up. Others were Dalco MRS, Royal Stream, Lasbat, Ramos, JWMS, Jackos, Olubisi Obinja and NYBO filling stations. They have been sealed up by the DPR working in conjunction with the NSCDC.”
The DPR Zonal Director, Mr. Wole Akinsoye, who confirmed the sealing, promised to get back to our correspondent with details of the operation. “The extent of the under-dispensing in those filling stations ranges from 0.4 to 1 per 10 litres. Any filling station that under-dispenses will be closed down because that is clear cheating,” he added.