By Adama Tine
Yusupha M. Jobe, Director General of the Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority (PURA) has called on everyone to be vigilant about the unauthorised selling of petroleum products.
Mr. Jobe, who was speaking at a press conference at PURA conference hall on 2 September 2021, said criminals in society that peddle fuel without any license cannot be allowed, adding they should be concerned with the security and safety of the environment they are operating within. He said PURA wanted the menace to stop if not, strict punishment will be set.
“The danger is not about PURA, but about citizens. It is the responsibility of a good citizen to look and ensure its environment is safe,” he said.
He urged perpetrators to register their businesses for regularization.
“What they are dealing with is highly flammable and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he further said.
Recently, major explosions have happened and investigations have shown that the explosions happen because some petroleum products and other liquid fuels were being sold in shops not very far from the places that exploded.
Momodou Lamin Sonko, Director of Water, Petroleum and Energy said the incidents show that there are illegal activities of selling petroleum at unauthorised places.
“We have started investigating the source of those petroleum and gas products and where they are coming from and who is behind it. Some areas have been targeted to point out those involved in illegal activities. Five sites have been targeted and a few have been apprehended,” he explained.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sonko said, some dealers found out that they were coming for them and as such they did not meet them at their places.
He said PURA will enforce the law on any criminal involvement in the illegal act. “We are committed to ensuring that the enforcement continues until it is minimized”, he further said.
Ndenneh Nying, principal environment inspector at the National Environment Agency (NEA) assured PURA that they would continue to work together to avert the problems. Nyang said one of NEA’s responsibilities is to make sure the operational activities of the people conform with environmental rules and regulations and also to look at the suitability of the surrounding.