Owners of fuel stations operating in Ekiti state have been issued seven days ultimatum by the state government to re-certify their stations or risk having the premises shut down.
Governor Ayodele Fayose who gave the directive on Tuesday during a meeting with petroleum marketers in the state at the Government House, Ado-Ekiti also disclosed that the owner of Strive Energy fuel station, gutted by fire last Sunday would be sued for criminal negligence.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in a press release, quoted the governor as saying that all filling stations must also be adequately insured.
The meeting followed last Sunday’s fire incident in Ijigbo area of Ado-Ekiti during which many houses and shops were burnt.
While maintaining that any errant filling station would be shut down, the governor said legal action would be taken against owner of the razed fuel station after it was discovered that he only insured his pumps not the whole premises leading to a situation whereby innocent victims of the incident could not benefit from any insurance cover.
Staffers of fuel stations in the state are also to train their workers on safety measures and the training will be conducted by the state’s fire service.
according to him,”Government will have to enforce regulations regarding operating business premises. The incident has caused pains on innocent people. We will implement regulations guiding setting up of filling stations. Politics has nothing to do with my actions and steps. We will re-certify sites of fuel stations and fire fighting equipment in such stations.
“Some staff of the station gutted by fire last Sunday did not know how to use fire fighting equipment.
Operators of filling stations who refuse to be part of the re-certification will be sealed and the place acquired for public purposes. No building of new filling stations until further notice and all approvals not yet built before now cancelled,” the governor stated.
He added that henceforth, the Office of the Governor would now approve citing filling stations.
The governor frowned at a situation whereby people engaged in business without complying with regulations and rules guiding such businesses.
The spokesman of the fuel marketers, Alhaji Sulaiman Akinbami, said his members appreciated the governor’s efforts but pleaded with more time for his members to comply with the directives.
A committee, that would conduct the re-certification exercise, is expected to start sitting on Wednesday and has seven working days to complete its assignment.