By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA- Marketers of petroleum products at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, depot, Osisioma Ngwa, Abia State, have decried the deplorable state of the road leading to the depot, stressing that the situation has made life difficult for their businesses.
South-East Voice gathered that the road which leads to the NNPC depot, Osisioma Ngwa Council Area secretariat, banks, Ekeakpara market, the MOPOL 55 Squadron, as well as over 20 industrial firms and links the Owerri – Aba highway at Ugba junction, has been in a state of disrepair for over 10 years.
This is even as the Association of Industrialists in Osisioma Ngwa Industrial Layout, stated that all the access roads to the area have collapsed, while factory owners had shut down their businesses.
A cross section of marketers who spoke to South East Voice, lamented that their trucks could no longer access the depot without being stuck in the gullies on the road. Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, IPMAN, Osisioma Ngwa Depot, Chief Christian Ahukanna, said the deplorable condition of the road has made it difficult for petroleum marketers to lift products from the depot and urged the state government to rehabilitate the road.
“The road leading to NNPC Aba depot has been in deplorable condition for some time now. The condition of the road has made it difficult for marketers to operate without stress. I have cried to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to help us out. He is a listening governor who has embarked on various road rehabilitation projects in Aba and other parts of the state. He has promised to do something about the road. Soon, the road will be done.”
On a visit to the area, South- East Voice observed two trucks belonging to a popular petroleum marketing company which were stuck in the gullies being pulled out by an articulated vehicle. Another truck which was stuck in the gullies appeared to have been abandoned in the area. The situation is worsened whenever it rains as the few motorists who ply the area, usually withdraw their services for fear of being drowned in the flood.
An oil marketer who declined to have his name in print, disclosed that the IPMAN chairman, has concluded plans to fill the gullies on the road with stones to make it passable, particularly at the Osisioma Ngwa junction leading to the depot.
Speaking for the industrialist at a forum in Aba, Mr. Humphery Nwachukwu disclosed that industrialists at Osisioma Ngwa Layout have resolved to relocate to other states where they could operate without stress.