30 August, 201, Sweetcrude, Uyo – Akwa Ibom Branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the scarcity of kerosene at the NNPC Depot in Calabar, which it said, had remained unchanged for about five years. Automated Gas Oil (AGO) otherwise known as diesel is also scarce in the state.
Chairman of IPMAN in the state, Victor Etefia, told newsmen in Uyo that the problem had accounted for exorbitant prices of the products in the state. Kerosene is being sold for N120 per litre, while a litre of diesel goes for N170 in the state. “As far as petroleum business is concerned, we don’t have a depot; we don’t have a viable tank farm and that makes the state disadvantaged, despite waterways surrounding it.
“Basically, we receive petroleum products from Port Harcourt and Calabar Depots but of recent, the emphasis has shifted from the depots to the tank farm,” Etefia said, adding that only petrol was being sent to the state. He lamented that out of the five depots in the Eastern Zone operated by the NNPC, only the ones in Port Harcourt and Calabar were functional and servicing the entire zone. According to him, the depots at Aba, Enugu and Makurdi have been down for the past three years and nothing has been done by the NNPC to rectify the problems.
“Calabar Depot has turned into a mono-product facility, dispensing only petrol and this is the problem that we are consistently facing in the state,” Etefia lamented. He alleged that even at Port Harcourt, with two refineries, “sometimes only three out of the 25 loading arms function, thus resulting in queues and delay in loading of trucks”. He also alleged that the problem facing the petroleum downstream sector was NNPC’s monopoly of the nation’s oil industry.