David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said the only way to end scarcity and high cost of petroleum products in the South-east is to fix the Enugu Depot.
IPMAN speaking through its Chairman, Enugu Depot, Chief Ikechukwu Nwankwo, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Awka yesterday.
Nwankwo said since the breakdown of the depot over 10 years ago, petroleum products dealers in the South-east who lift products from the depot now depend on other depots, which adds to their expenditure and the cost as well.
The price of petrol in Anambra and neighbouring states have remained between N210 per litre and N250 since last year.
Nwankwo said the NNPC has not been supplying the product sufficiently to marketers and has contributed to the high cost of the products.
He said customers in the area were more vulnerable because marketers from the zone were not protected by the NNPC in other depots in terms of access to products.
“The problem of price hike in the South-east where we operate is because of scarcity.
“The product is not available, if it was available, there will be competition and naturally nobody will sell above normal price.
“Enugu depot has been down for over a decade and all the states in the zone now rely on depots that are supposed to be serving others.
“Marketers are supposed to be getting PMS at N133.28 kobo at the NNPC depot so that we can sell at government approved price of N145, but all the products were bought from private depots tank farms at between N195 and N200.
“If the pipeline to Enugu depot is working and the depot is functional, you are sure of 20 trucks each to Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States which are the major affiliate states at NNPC rate.
“Now that the Enugu depot is not working, the NNPC should protect customers in the zone by ensuring that marketers from here get at least half of what it should get from other depots,” he said.