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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday commissioned a multi naira laboratory equipment to ensure quality products are distributed to consumers of petroleum products in the South East zone of the country.
Alh. Ahmed Shakar, the Director of Petroleum Resources performed the commissioning ceremony of the DPR Laboratory in its Owerri Zonal office.
Shakar, who was represented by Mr Peter Ijeh, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR
South East, said the laboratory was an answer to the request by government agencies and individuals to test petroleum products suspected to be adulterated in the zone.
He said that before his time, the agency relied on the sister zonal office in Port Harcourt and some third party laboratories to get the job done, at a fee and with some delays.
“With the support and partnership of DPR Headquarters, the Owerri laboratory has come to be, with state of the art analytic equipment for petroleum quality analysis.
“This laboratory is a significant achievement for Owerri Zone and a testament to the success which are positive through public/private partnership.
“It is a mini laboratory, but I assure you that great and formidable results will come out of it as we commence operations. The commissioning holds a lot of promises of better things to come for Owerri and other eastern states,” he said.
Shakar said that any marketer caught with adulterated petroleum product would face the full wrath of the law as stipulated and depending on the level of adulteration might have his product seized or discharged.
He assured motorists and marketers in the zone that with the laboratory in place the issue of determining product quality would be realised and in a good record time.
The director urged marketers, individuals, motorists and consummers of petroleum products to report any case of adulteration to the department for possible sanction and prosecution.
Mrs Nwando Awiaka, Chief Environment Officer and Team Head, Quality Control and Analysis DPR, Lagos Laboratory Services, who represented the DPR management Lagos, expresed delight at the commissioning of the project in the zone.
She noted that management was keen at ensuring that DPR laboratory was established across the nation adding that the agency currently has six laboratories situated in Warri, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kaduna, Abuja and now in Owerri with more to be commissioned in Kano and Calabar.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports reports that with the commissioning, marketers and other individuals in the south east can now text their petroleum products in the zone rather than travel to other states.
Speaking, Mr Christopher Okpara, Chief Biochemist and Head Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Owerri Zonal Office, said the equipment are of international standard and would produce the required result.
He said there are laws in place for people who engage in selling adulterated petroleum products to unassuming Nigerians adding that offenders would be sanctioned.
The Richardson Team, the company that installed the equipment, led by Mr Fiyin Akinbami identified the equipment to include Vapour Pressure Texter, Closed Flashpoint tester for gas inlet, Lovibonid, and Sulphur Meter for sample texting .
Others are refrigerator to retain violatile samples before the text are carried out, and destil water for reagents, aside others.
NAN reports that the high-point of the occasion was the cutting of the tape by the zonal operations controller south east Mr Ijeh onbehalf of the DPR director.