THE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), on Wednesday, expressed concern over disruption to loading at Ejigbo Satellite Depot by Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC) in the last three weeks.
Alhaji Ayo Alanamu, the Chairman of Ejigbo Satellite depot told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Lagos that the disruption to loading at the depot would cause fuel scarcity within the metropolis, if not addressed urgently.
According to Alanamu, an official of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) explained that routine maintenance was being carried out on system 2B pipeline network, which was yet to be completed.
“The official said non-payment of salary to the pipelines surveillance security affected the pumping of products to the depot as the security demanded payment before the operation can commence.
“We have not loaded a single product from the depot in the last three weeks and this has increased the ex-depot price in most private depots in Apapa,” he said.
The IPMAN boss urged the management of NNPC to urgently intervene to avert another round of scarcity that could arise if not carefully managed before the weekend.
“Today, the situation has worsened as Mosinmi and Ibadan depots now have low stock.
“The two depots which usually load 200 trucks each on daily basis now load between 10 to 12 trucks daily,” he said.
He said marketers would not hesitate to sell petrol above pump price of N145 per litre if private depots failed to sell petrol at the official ex-depot price.
Alanamu said it had been a serious challenge for trucks coming from Kwara, Ilorin, Ekiti, and Kogi to load at Apapa due to the ongoing road repairs.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored the situation at Ejigbo Satellite Depot reports that loading was no longer going on at the depot while trucks were seen parked outside.
One of the truck drivers, Mr Musa Adamu, said, “I have been here since last week with my receipt to load after paying to the bank but l was told no petrol.
“My boss told me to wait here until they fix the problem, that is why am still waiting to load,” he said.
However, one of the officials at the depot, who preferred not to be mentioned, told NAN that the disruption to loading was due to the ongoing maintenance on a sectional line, which had been completed.
“I cannot confirm to you when pumping will start but you can go to Abuja and ask our bosses further questions,” the official said.
The effort to get Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs, NNPC, to respond proved abortive as he refused to pick his calls and failed to respond to text messages.