Responding to resident’s cry over meter tampering by petrol stations in the state, the Enugu State Commissioner for Special Duties Emeka Ajogwu paid an unscheduled visit to 14 petrol stations within Enugu metropolis on Thursday to check their meters for possible tampering.
All stations including the major distributing stations visited had adjusted their meters thereby shortchanging the masses.
Speaking to newsmen on findings, Ajogwu expressed deep concern at the hardship citizens are experiencing in the hands of petroleum marketers who not only sell fuel between #600 and #620 but tampers the meter thereby shortchanging motorists.
“We were just sworn in as Commissioners and the very first set of people who visited to congratulate me mentioned the situation; citizens keep complaining that petroleum marketers in Enugu are shortchanging them by tampering with their meters.”
“I discussed with my permanent secretary and other stakeholders and we decided to go into town to verify the story of meter tampering; it may interest you to know that none of the stations visited today passed the test.”
“The litres were tampered at varying degrees, from half to over 1 litres in every 20 liters of fuel purchased; this cannot continue. We owe our citizens a duty to protect their interest at every given point in time.”
On-the-spot assessment of the meters reveals that the stations visited shortchange their customers as much as ₦768.60 and the lowest ₦256.20 for every 20litres purchased.
On punishment awaiting the defaulters, the Commissioner’s response, “be rest assured that there will be consequences for this; the Government will come up with appropriate sanctions.”
“However, when we come back again for monitoring, we will seal any defaulting station and if need be, prosecute the defaulters,” Commissioner Ajogwu said.
Commending the State Government’s filing stations’ meter monitoring exercise, the Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Enugu State chapter Chidiebere Aniagwu pleads that the exercise be continuous so as to check the marketers’ excesses.
“We the transporters are the ones losing but we ask that such routine check continues and not be business as usual; we appreciate the state government for this move.”
But a motorist interviewed raised the issue of adulterated fuel sold to the masses which causes more harm to the vehicles.
Mr. Joel Ejikeme said, “Some stations are selling adulterated fuel despite selling at a high cost; the quality of the fuel is nothing to write home about. We need this monitoring. Irrespective of the cost of fuel, we need monitoring to ensure the standard of the fuel and that the meters are okay.”
The 14 filling stations visited are Juhel, Ogui junction; Mcnuel by China town, Ogui Road; Cekon, Ogui Road; Enyo, Ogui Road; Equity, Ogui Road; N. C Angus, by Onu Asata, Ogui; Rainoil filling station, Presidential Road; Virgin Forest Energy, Presidential Road; Fontana Oil, Presidential Road; Romchi Mass Transit, by Ugwuaji Road; Okie Purity Oil & Gas, by Ugwuaji Road; Hariz Petroleum LTD, by New Artisan; NNPC Mega, Naira Triangle, and Northwest filling station, by Emene junction.
Although none of the stations’ meter is accurate, Rainoil Filing Station Presidential Road meter was tampered with the least, while Juhel Ogui Junction and NNPC Mega station tampered with their meters the most.