By Egufe Yafugborhi
INDEPENDENT petroleum marketers in Rivers state say more than two years dependence on illegally refined diesel to run their product-delivery trucks has taken a harsh toll on their business and livelihood.
Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), an arm of Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria Petroleum (IPMAM) Port Harcourt Deport, Rivers state, expressed the worry in protest yesterday at the Port Harcourt depot.
The Chairman, IPMAN Port Harcourt Depot, Emmanuel Inimgba, said the Port Harcourt refinery has, in the past two years, not produced diesel or kerosene while the depot in the area has been releasing only petrol within the period. Inimgba said, “For the last two years we have not been loading any product apart from imported Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), no Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel), no DPK (kerosene).
“We still load what is given but we depend on illegally refined diesel to fuel our haulage trucks. So this illegally refined diesel, also known as ‘kpofire’ is what we manage to fuel our trucks to load the petrol and it is destroying our engines. “The non-functioning refineries is encouraging the ‘kpofire’ who many now depend on for kerosene and diesel. So, that not only destroys our legitimate businesses, it also increases health dangers and accidents associated with the adulterated product.
The protesters called on the federal government to pro-actively revamp the idle refineries to deliver products, particularly kerosene and diesel to discourage the dependence on illegal refineries.