The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has sealed 16 illegal gas facilities and filling stations in Edo State over an alleged breach of rules and regulations.
Daily Trust reports that the agency also arrested five suspects during the exercise.
Addressing journalists shortly after the exercise, the agency State Comptroller Engr. Ebi Ogionwo, said the clampdown was to curb the activities of illegal and unlicensed oil and gas operators in the State.
He alleged that some misguided operators are setting up oil and gas facilities in areas that are not suitable for the business and without necessary approvals from the agency.
Ogionwo said, “It is an offence for anyone to site such facilities without due approval from the NMDPRA. The agency is out to bring sanity to the operations of midstream and downstream petroleum business in the state”.
He further warned investors against taking laws into their hands by setting up gas and petroleum facilities in areas that are not approved by the agency.
Ogionwo said five suspects were arrested during the exercise and they would be charged in court.
“There are laws, guidelines and regulations that people must follow before setting up oil and gas facilities. So the purpose of the operations is also to check the level of compliance by those who have set up these facilities in the state and also take necessary actions that are required of us to take on them”, he said.
Ogionwo added that the illegal operations of oil and gas facilities compromised the safety of lives, properties, environment as well as deprived both the state and federal governments of the revenue that is supposed to accrue to them through taxes and the other sources of revenue generation.