The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to expedite the rehabilitation of Ore and Ilorin depots to ease petroleum distribution within the axis.
Alhaji Dedo Ahmed, the Chairman, Western Zone of IPMAN, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
Ahmed said the restoration of operations at the depots became necessary to reduce the stress of marketers going to Lagos depots to load which, he said, posed serious risks and additional charges.
He said Ilorin and Ore depots that had about 20 million litres of storage capacity, had been moribund for over eight years.
The IPMAN boss said the supply of products to these depots had been a serious challenge over the years, impacting negatively on the operations of marketers.
Ahmed urged the management of NNPC to intensify efforts on the rehabilitation to boost the distribution network in the regions to address shortage in the hinterlands.
He said full rehabilitation of the depots would ease loading and distribution activities within the western axis.
“We are very happy about the massive supply of petrol to depots within the western zone which has the biggest depots in the country.
“The supply of petrol to depots has improved in the western zone. We appeal to NNPC to maintain the tempo.
“All depots within the western zone now sell petroleum products at government-regulated prices compared to when petrol was sold above ex-depot prices.
“Only Ilorin and Ore depots are facing challenges with products in the South-West which has affected marketers greatly by coming down to Lagos depots to load,’’ he said.
Ahmed assured that his members would partner with NNPC officials to ensure the protection and surveillance of petroleum product pipelines, as well as to curb incessant vandalism.
He commended the Federal Government for resuscitating NNPC depots in the western zone and praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his concern about easing fuel distribution and supply to every part of the country.
The chairman said the rehabilitation of moribund depots became necessary to address loading challenges encountered by western zone marketers in Lagos and the risk of transporting the product in trucks by road to Ilorin and Ore.
“We are happy for the ongoing rehabilitations of depots because most of them had been moribund for years, while some are under dispensing due to lack of maintenance which had been affecting loading,’’ he said.