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Rivers government, DPR go after illegal gas retailers

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Rivers State government and the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) have revealed moves to rid the state of all illegal gas operators and expired gas cylinders. They, however, warned the illegal operators to desist from the act or leave the state, as “the full wrath of the law awaits anyone caught.”

The Commissioner for Energy, Dr. Peter Medee, and the Operations Controller of DPR, Port Harcourt Zone, Bassey Nkanga, disclosed this to The Guardian yesterday in Port Harcourt.

According to Medee, already a six-man technical committee from the Ministry of Energy, security agencies and DPR has been set up to draw a template for the taskforce that would carry out the enforcement.

The essence of the template, the commissioner said, was to ensure that the taskforce carried out its duties in line with the guidelines to avoid abuse and hijack of the process. Medee added that the move was not going to be confrontational, but that stakeholders would first be consulted, followed by sensitisation and then enforcement.

His words, “The state government is taking safety of the people and environment very seriously. We will not allow any illegal gas operator in the state. A lot of people are operating illegally, but we are going to stop them all.”Nkanga, however, urged Rivers residents not to panic irrespective of the gas fire incident in Kaduna, assuring that the agency and the state government were working seriously to safeguard the state.He said the task force, which would become operational in the next few weeks, would work 24 hours to ensure that no illegal gas operator remained in Rivers.

“The state government has come to work with us. Together we are setting up a taskforce that will go about ensuring that those operating without licence are not allowed to operate because they are the ones that sell products to illegal retailers who cause the major problems.”

“We are also working with security agencies to ensure that those operating without licence are arrested. The jingles are on, warning them to leave the state or do the right thing. “Government is doing everything possible to stop the use of expired gas cylinders. There is plan that every cylinder that does not meet specific requirements will be pulled out of circulation and no longer be allowed to be used,” he added.

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DPRPeter Medee
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