The Delta State Government has warned against the activities of illegal petroleum taskforce on highways who extort tanker drivers in the state.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Petroleum Products Monitoring, Frank Ojenima, disclosed this in a statement in Asaba at the weekend.
He said that the government had put mechanisms in place to bring perpetrators to book in order to curb the menace of petroleum illegal checkpoints in the state.
Explaining that the state government was displeased with the rate at which illegal task force checkpoints were increasing in the state, Chief Ojenima called on culprits to desist from the act.
He added that illegal taskforce perpetrators do not remit to government coffers hence poses a threat to the economic growth of the state.
He noted that confrontations between the illegal task force and tanker drivers had led to the loss of lives and property in recent times hence the need to checkmate the sharp practices in the sector.
“It has come to the knowledge of the state government that some persons have constituted themselves together into an illegal task force to mount unauthorised petroleum checkpoints within Delta State.
“They harass and beat up truck drivers and collecting money, causing nuisance and traffic on the road.
“We have put a monitoring team across the state to checkmate the menace caused by the petroleum illegal check points in the state,” he said.
Chief Ojenima said that the taskforce has liaised with security agencies to bring to book those involved in the dastardly act.
“Let me use this medium to warn them to stay off the road because the monitoring team will be going round, if they don’t stop this act, the law will catch up with them.”
He advised tanker drivers apprehended by the illegal task force to call the number 07031121973 or report to the office of the Petroleum monitoring in Asaba.
Ojenima also warned those involved in illegal oil bunkering to desist from the act as it constitutes an economic sabotage to the nation and environmental degradation.