By Kebba AF Touray
The Director General of Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Yusupha M Jobe, has urged the public to report any activity of illegal and unlicensed fuel peddling to the authority, who would take necessary actions against such people.
DG Jobe made the appeal on Thursday during a press conference with journalists held at the authority’s headquarters along Kairaba Avenue.
“We are all our brother’s keepers and we should ensure that we give the authority advance warnings so that people engaged in such acts are caught and stopped before their activities could cause damages, property losses and death,” he said.
He said citizens should report neighbours peddling fuel, else they would be complacent in the practice.
“We are also appealing to the perpetrators and criminals to come and apply for license, register and regularize their activities. Don’t go and venture into illegal activities that will endanger your life and that of the people in your area and the entire nation,” he said.
Director Jobe said illegal fuel peddlers are dealing with a product that is highly flammable and they cannot allow the illegal practice to continue. He said the recent gas explosion is an indication that such vendors are increasing their operation capacity which led them to get to the root of the menace by getting relevant information regarding the practice.
Jobe said if there is an oil spill, it affects the environment. He said it can also spill into the river and water, thereby causing more damage to the environment.
“This is a hazard and as for GRA, they are losing revenue because such vendors do not pay taxes as they are not licensed- meaning that the government is losing revenue. That in itself is a serious crime and can attract fines from the perpetrator to GRA, PURA and can potentially land such people to court and eventually to jail for a long time,” he said.
Jobe said PURA is committed and will continue to execute the enforcement to stop the menace. He urged the citizens to be extra vigilant and help them save the country from such acts, adding that such illegal and unlicensed activities affect the public with particular reference to the Saturday’s fire outbreak near the Petro Gas station in Brikama, West Coast Region.