The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Eket field office, says it has sealed 44 filling stations for failure to renew their licenses in the state.
The Operations Controller of DPR in Akwa Ibom, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket, Akwa Ibom, on Monday.
He said the licenses of the petroleum marketers expired two years ago and they did not deem it fit to renew them.
He said the filling stations were sealed when the department carried out routine inspection of filling stations in Uyo and its environs two weeks ago.
“Because there is no license or approval that covers the marketer, whatever business he or she was doing at that period, they are liable under the Law,” Kingsley-Sundaye said.
He noted that some of the offenders had started submitting applications to renew their licenses, and that some of the applications had been processed and sent to head office for issuance of license.
He further said the department was carrying out audit and censor of filling stations operating in the state in order to know the state of their facilities.
The managers of some of the sealed filling stations declined comment when NAN visited their stations.
However, Mr. Aniete Bassey, a marketer at Matelbot Oil Nigeria Ltd., complained about delay in acquiring tax clearance from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Uyo.
“To renew DPR’s license is not a problem but there is a lot of delay from FIR office in Uyo,” said Bassey.