The Federal Government (FG) said it had begun the clamp down on the use of faulty and altered equipment; used by some business owners to cheat their customers.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, announced this on Saturday, October 3, in Port Harcourt at a two-day sensitisation workshop with stakeholders in the downstream oil and gas industry.
Adeniyi, represented by Mr. Gbolahan Adamoh, Head of Oil and Gas, Department of Weight and Measures (WM), in the ministry said that the government was aware of such illicit trade by some service providers.
The FG said that the Weights and Measure Department is the lead Federal Government agency; mandated to enforce accurate use of weighing and measuring equipment for trade in the country.
According to him, the FG department has discovered that many businesses, such as filling stations, recalibrate their metres and equipment to cheat the buying public.
“So, we decided to meet with critical stakeholders in the downstream oil and gas sector; and engage them to maintain accurate measurement of their metres while serving their customers.
“We want customers to get full value for their money especially during this COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the economy of the country and made things difficult for Nigerians.
“We want a litre of fuel to be a litre; and kilogramme of whatever grain to be a kilogramme; so that Nigerians can get their monies worth,” he said.
The minister said that severe sanction was awaiting any business operator; found to be using faulty and also recalibrated equipment to defraud Nigerians.
He said that such individuals would have their filling stations; and businesses sealed-off and also made to pay huge sums of money; as well as face jail term.
“We appeal to filling station operators; and other business owners to visit our offices for verification; and proper certification of their equipment for use for trade.
“The FG department is committed to protecting both the producers and consumers; through fair and balanced trade transactions,” he added.
Adebayo told the participants that the permissible ‘tolerance level’ remained 60 milligrams for 10 litres of fuel; and 30 milligrams for 10 litres; different from the tolerance level provided by other government regulators.
He warned stakeholders against the use of other measuring scales; saying that the weight and measure department is the only body backed by law; to regulate measuring scale in the country.