The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) and petroleum tanker drivers in Aba, Abia, have given NNPC/PPMC a 14-day ultimatum to pump petroleum products to Aba depot or face service withdrawal.
The two bodies at a joint press conference with the Abia Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Akujobi Nkoro, in Aba on Monday, said that they would down tools on January 6, 2012, if the NNPC failed to act.
Mr Simple Nwankpa, Chairman of Aba Depot Reactivation Committee, lamented that the depot was shut down since 2006 following the activities of pipeline vandals.
He said that the depot which supplied petroleum products to the entire South East operated for three weeks in 2008 and stopped.
Nwankpa said that over 700 marketers with more than 4000 outlet lifting from Aba depot, had been denied product supply for five years.
He said that IPMAN had assisted in the reactivation of the depot including procurement of HILUX van to PPMC.
Nwanpa added that IPMAN had engaged 150 youths from the communities where the pipelines traversed for security purposes, with a monthly wage bill of N3.6 million.
According to him, PPMC maintenance and technical teams have been able to maintain and repair the pipelines from Port Harcourt to Aba depot, without any form of harassment or molestation.
He said that the last hydro testing recorded a hundred per cent success.
“This was attested to by the management of PPMC both at the Port Harcourt area office and Aba depot office.
“Having fulfilled the tasks as agreed with PPMC top management, it is as shocking as it is disheartening to note that PPMC have refused, neglected and reneged on its promise to pump products to Aba depot citing frivolous excuses,” he said.
Also speaking, the commissioner appealed to them to shed their sword as the state government had moved into action to ensure that the depot came on stream.
Nkoro said the plan to down tools would not be in the interest of the South East and Nigeria in general, especially during the festive period. (NAN)