The Eket Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)  says it has discovered eight petrol dispensing stations in Abak Local Government Area of  Akwa Ibom.

The Operations Controller in Akwa Ibom, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, said  the discovery was made during  routine surveillance of filling stations in the state.

He said the illegal stations had been operating for more than five years without licence.

Kingsley-Sundaye  told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Eket that one of the petrol stations operated discreetly and illegally with neither a name nor operational licence from DPR.

He said: “The stations are illegal, they do not have any documentation with DPR. When any filling station does not pass through the last process and you are in operation, that station is illegal.

“Even if you have approval to construct and thereafter not follow the last process of finishing construction and you are not given the license, that station is illegal.’’

Kingsley-Sundaye noted that the owners of the filling stations had gone contrary to the Petroleum Act of 1969 which states  that nobody can store or sell petroleum products without licence in Nigeria.

He said that the illegal stations encouraged diversion of petroleum products  in the state because they  are not supposed to lift products.

The DPR official  said that the department   was collaborating with  sister agencies to prosecute all offenders.

“ In this criminal act, DPR will stand as witness to the Nigerian police to prosecute the offender so that the law will take its course,’’ he said.

He also said that 14 filling stations in the state were  sealed for selling petrol above government approved pump price of N145 per litre.

Most of the filling stations, he said,  had not renewed their DPR licence in the state, warning them  to desist from violating the department’s  seal order.

Kingsley-Sundaye, however,  said that DPR would continue to encourage marketers, who claimed that  they bought the product at a high price,  to bring evidence to erring depots for further action. (NAN)