The Port Harcourt Zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN); Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) of the National Union of Petroleum and Gas (NUPENG) have decried what they called “constant evacuation of petroleum products from Port Harcourt Refinery to unknown destinations”.
Rising from a recent meeting held at the IPMAN Secretariat located at Eleme in Rivers State, the stakeholders vowed to take all civilised steps to check the trend.
The five-point communiqué was issued and endorsed by the IPMAN Chairman PHC Unit, Mr. Sunny Nkpe; Chairman of NUPENG’s PTD; Mr. John Amajuoyi, and Chairman of IMB, also of NUPENG, Mr. Emmanuel Igwe Oluka.
The communiqué, which was read by the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the National President of IPMAN, Dr. Chiho Nwogu, noted that the meeting was held to discuss and deliberate over issues confronting the operations of the stakeholders as marketers and distributors of petroleum products.
The stakeholders said they had joined forces with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to ensure the availability of crude oil in the Port Harcourt Refinery for effective refining.
According to them, the refinery had been starved of crude oil which had substantially affected availability of petroleum products nationwide.
“That we have discovered that these refined products have been evacuated to unknown destinations by vessels leaving the depot with nothing to distribute to the general public. That we are not against marine loading of these products, but a situation where the depot does not have enough products to distribute and the products we have here are taken away by vessels is unacceptable. That based on the forgoing, if this constant evacuation of these products is not checked, we shall take all civilised steps to ensure that this denial of products to our depot is stopped,” said the communique.
Speaking further on their grievances, Nkpe said his administration had ensured peace at the depot.
He, however, noted that as businessmen, the IPMAN members put in their money, and expected to get profit to no avail.
According to him, IPMAN members pay for products without getting what they paid for.
.To sustain the current peace at the depot, Nkpe said they had always engaged every stakeholder in making sure they collectively discussed issues of mutual importance especially as it affected the effective distribution of the petroleum products.
“People are accusing IPMAN members of not selling fuel and so on and so forth. We are desirous in making sure that products are available but in achieving that, when we have refined products, it should not be evacuated completely and leaving the depot stranded as that would adversely affect everybody,” he said.