09 July 2015, Umuahia — Sad at the persisting scarcity of petroleum products in the country, especially in the South East zone, marketers at the Aba depot in Abia State, under the aegis of concerned members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the problem.
In a statement, the Aba Depot IPMAN Chairman, Levi Amah, said it is worrisome that contrary to the assurances by officials of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), members still face difficulties procuring the products, since they have to get them from outside the zone.
“For the umpteenth time, officials of PPMC have assured us of availability of products but we did not see any. This makes us travel as far as Lagos, with its attendant risks, to buy products that we would ordinarily get in Aba.”
Amah also described as untrue and flimsy the statement by some people that the scarcity was being caused by the old and rustic pipelines conveying the products from Port Harcourt to Aba.
According to him, some petroleum engineers have insisted that such pipes could last over 150 years before getting rust and out of use.
More so, “blaming the scarcity on pipelines vandalism amounts to buck passing because the pipelines are being guarded by a combined team of security men. Pipeline vandalism in this wise could only be possible with the connivance of security agencies, unless they are indicting the personnel of these agencies,” he said.
Consequently, the group implored President Buhari to include the Aba Depot among the areas he would investigate when he begins his oil sector reforms.
*Gordi Udeajah – The Guardian