Enugu State government has expressed disappointment at the way certain petroleum dealers in the state are exploiting consumers through deliberate manipulation of metres while dispensing fuel inaccurately, warning that filing stations found culpable in such sharp practices will be severely sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others.
While frowning at the dastardly act, the state government assured residents of its genuine concern to their plight in the hands of the exploiters, urging the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), to ensure that filling stations comply with accurate metering system.
Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Emeka Ajogwu said this, today, when he paid unscheduled visits to some petrol filing stations in Enugu metropolis to ascertain the alleged metre manipulation by filling station owners where it was confirmed that none of the filling stations had an accurate metering system, including the major distributing stations.
The enraged commissioner told newsmen that the state government had, over the past weeks, been inundated with complaints from residents and motorists operating in the state that they were being shortchanged at petrol filing stations even with the high cost of the product and that informed the decision to visit stations for confirmation.
Ajogwu lamented the insensitivity of the dealers who under supplied the product purchased by consumers, saying the days of such manipulation would soon come to an end as severe measures were being taken by the appropriate authorities against erring dealers.
He wondered why petrol station dealers would exploit buyers, adding that the sharp practice was “unacceptable”.
He said that the state governor, Dr. Peter Mbah’s administration was committed to making life better for the people and will not fold its arms watch citizens strangulated without intervention.
Over 20 filing stations visited adjusted their metres and sold between N600- N620 per litre, respectively. It was confirmed that for every 20 litres of petrol bought, consumers were shortchanged ₦768.60, ₦702, ₦682.00, ₦575 ₦441.60, ₦480, ₦256.2 respectively.
The commissioner, who was accompanied by other government officials, cautioned the station managers and directed them to re-adjust their metres to the accurate metering system.
He said the monitoring will be a regular exercise, assuring that the state government will come up with commensurate punishment against defaulters.
Some customers who witnessed the exercise commended the state government for the steps taken and appealed that the action should be on regular basis, stressing that they had suffered untold hardships in the hands of some filing stations.
“We are not getting value for our money. These people are manipulating us. We have protested against this injustice but nothing positive has come out of it. I am glad government is taking a decisive step to end this manipulation,” a commercial bus driver, Emeka Obinna, said.
They also appealed to the government to monitor the quality of fuel being sold because some dealers sell adulterated product.