08 July 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – As part of efforts to ensure the efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in the South-east geo-political zone, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will on Monday re-open the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Depot in Aba after almost a decade of inactivity. The depot had been shut down due to pipeline vandalism.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Mr. Fidel Pepple for the Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC who explained that the re-opening of the Aba Depot is a major achievement by the corporation under the watch of the Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, who has pledged to retool the downstream sub-sector in line with the vision of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
“One of the key objectives of the new management as espoused by the GMD during his maiden town hall meeting with staff recently was the revamping of critical downstream oil facilities and infrastructure. He specifically mentioned the rehabilitation of strategic depots, jetties and pipeline segments from Port Harcourt to Yola; the re-opening of the Aba Depot is therefore a major step in that direction as it will help ease the hitches in petroleum products supply in the South-East and going forward, in the North-Central and North-East,” Mr. Pepple stated.
Commenting on the significance of the event, Prince Haruna Momoh, Managing Director of the PPMC described the re-opening of the Aba Depot as a major milestone for the PPMC in its drive to ensure unimpeded flow of petroleum products in the South Eastern zone of the country.
“The advantages of having Aba Depot back to operation are quite a handful; first it will reduce pressure on the Port Harcourt Refinery/Depot, it will make Abia, Imo, Anambra and environs wet with petroleum products, and naturally the multiplier effect will lead to automatic jerk up of economic activities in Aba and the entire zone,” Prince Momoh said.
He also mentioned that the re-opening will totally eliminate the incidence of bridging of products from Port Harcourt to Aba and “the nation will be saved the cost of bridging via the Petroleum Equalization Fund scheme as trucks which should have gone to Port Harcourt to bridge now have their own depot in Aba.’’
The PPMC MD thanked the Minister for providing the much needed impetus for the NNPC and the PPMC to embark on the phased rehabilitation of the nation’s 21 loading depots which have been lying fallow for so long.
“Since we came on board at PPMC in 2011, we have set in motion an aggressive plan to make all our depots active as directed by the Minister. So far we have been able to re-commission Suleja after 15 years of inactivity, we re-commissioned Minna, Kano, Gusau, Jos and now we are in Aba and very soon we shall be in Benin, Gombe before moving to Makurdi, Enugu and Yola,” he said.
Prince Momoh called on citizens and residents of Aba to be vigilant and ensure that pipeline vandals and oil thieves do not grind the depot to a halt again.