By Odunewu Segun
Oil marketers under the aegis of Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have threatened to stop operation if necessary actions are not taken to redress the despicable state of the Pipelines products Marketing Company depots in the South-west zone.
Chairman of IPMAN, Ibadan Depot, Alhaji Raheem Rasaq Tayo in a statement said the non-functionality of the Ibadan depot in the last one year has impacted negatively on the activity of his members as it has become difficult for effective distribution of petroleum products in Oyo, Osun and part of Ondo States.
“On behalf of all our members in the two states, I am alerting the good people of Oyo and Osun States of the precarious situation of fuel supply to the States and the impending fuel crisis that may result from the shortage of supply and the high cost of petroleum products from Lagos, if the situation is not immediately arrested.”
The association accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of refusal to transport products to the Apata depot located in Ibadan making it difficult for members to purchase petroleum products at the government approved depot price.
“The NNPC Apata depot in Ibadan has not dispensed petroleum products of any kind since the past one year. Meanwhile, the private depots that are the major suppliers of petroleum products (Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene) to our states now daily increase their prices. As at now PMS is N141/litre; AGO N248/litre and DPK N245/litre,’’ he stated.
While appealing for urgent intervention, the IPMAN chairman said, “We therefore appeal to the public for understanding as we no longer can cope with the economic loss being incurred in doing business in this era where there is no electricity. This is not our making.’’
“We also appeal to the government at all levels to exercise their influence and right to ensure that Apata Depot becomes fully operational as this is the only way by which supply of petroleum product can be guaranteed at affordable prices.’’
In addition, the IPMAN chairman equally draw the attention of government to multiple levies being imposed on his members with retail outlets in the two states, calling on those in authority to regularize such taxes to help the situation.
Responding, the spokesperson of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu blamed the incessant vandalism of pipeline for the poor situation of the depots. “The depots supplied products through pipelines, the continuous vandalism of these pipelines especially from the Arepo axis is responsible,’’ he stated.
On threats by IPMAN members to close shop, Ughamadu said the NNPC will continue to engage the marketers and depot owners to see how the situation could be salvaged.