The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), on Friday, discovered and sealed off an illegal engine oil manufacturing factory, IMN Auto Parts Limited, located in Usubu village, near Kontagora, Niger State.
A team of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel, led by Ademola Oyasola, also arrested three persons from the factory.
The three persons arrested are the manager of the company, Phillip Ambi; the Sales Representative; Emeka Anatusi and Secretary, Mrs Grace Asilonu.
The suspects would be taken to NSCDC headquarters in Abuja and handed over to the legal unit for prosecution, said Oyasola.
A DPR team, led by its Zonal Public Relations Officer, Muhammed Saidu, accompanied by the NSCDC officers, discovered the factory during a routine inspection and monitoring in the state.
Saidu told newsmen at the end of the exercise that the company was operating without approval from DPR and in an unsafe environment.
He explained that before anybody could engage in petroleum product business in Nigeria, such a person must be licensed by DPR in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Law.
According to DPR’s spokesman, the company was endangering the lives of women and children in the factory by exposing them to dangerous chemicals without protection.
Saidu said that the products of the company couldn’t have met the standard since it was operating illegally.
He stated that DPR would put the products to its laboratory test to ascertain its composition and standard.
He, however, paid the 38 workers of the company N1,000 each as their unpaid wages and sealed the factory.
“This factory remains sealed while investigation will be carried out as to the source of their raw materials.
“The company produces two types of engine oil called, Ribcon auto oil and Zikon super engine multi-grade oil.
“The activity of this company is illegal and it is also dangerous to the health of these innocent women and children engaged by the company,” he said.
The factory manager, while answering questions from newsmen, said that the company got approval from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) while his boss had applied for a licence. [NT]