‘Ban on Oyo oil marketers may be lifted soon’

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By Ruth Olurounbi

The Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr Olakunle Ogunlana, has blamed the Oyo State government for over 100 illegal filling stations in the state, just as there are indications that the three-year-old ban on major marketers of petroleum products may soon be lifted. Ogunlana was responding to the state government’s explanations on why the marketers were banned in the first place when he said these.

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The Commissioner Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Deji Akande, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary to the ministry, Mr Olalekan Busari, gave the indication at the annual meeting between the DPR, the Oyo State government and major marketers in Ibadan, on Thursday.

Busari said the ban was placed due to the marketers’ consistent nonchalant attitude to the government’s calls to desist from erecting illegal filling stations in the state.

According to Busari, several attempts had been made by the state government to ensure safety measures before siting filling stations.

He explained that because the marketers refused to comply with the regulations associated with granting siting approvals to them, most of which are contained within the building approval, the government had no choice but to ban the marketers.

But reacting, the DPR controller accused the state government of illegality as regard the sale of application forms, which, he said, cost N1.5 million per head to the already banned marketers in the state.

According to him, the government shouldn’t have placed a blanket ban on the marketers and if it was going to place a ban, which he said had created a vacuum, which gave rise to arbitral filling station sittings in the state.

Ogunlana, who said the government was wrong to have kept on selling forms when it had no intention of lifting the ban anytime soon, called on the government to lift the ban and expedite action on application files with it.

Busari, while responding to Ogulana’s claim on sale forms, denied that the state government was responsible for the sale, saying the money allegedly paid by the marketers were not in the government’s covers.

On moving forward, Busari called on the marketers to go to the ministry to regularise their stations, while promising that the application forms on the ministry’s table prior to the ban would be treated soon.

He also charged the marketers to make available complete and original documents to the effect, while calling on them to be “ready to make amendments,” given that “approval is subject to amendments.”

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