The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Friday urged the Federal Government to ban private depots in the country and concentrate on reviving ailing government-owned depots.
The acting Chairman of the association in the country’s South-East zone, Chukwudi Ezinwa, who made the call in Enugu, said the proliferation of private depots across the country would always be a major challenge for the revival and effective operation of government-owned depots in the zone.
“Private depots do not care who you are, whether or not you are a marketer. They do not want to know, once you pay money into their account. It is wrong.
“So government should ban private depots and focus on their depots. If the depot is working, our business will be flourishing. But if the depots are not working, we have a problem.
“If our depots are working, a person can use N1 million to run his filling station. But if depots are not working, before you run a filling station, you will need at least N10 million.
“Let me elaborate on the depots that are under my command. None of the depots are working now in full capacity. Port Harcourt depot is working in full capacity, Aba depot is not working, Makurdi depot has been comatose for almost 13 years, Enugu has been moribund for over 11 years,” he said.
On the availability of petroleum products during the yuletide, the chairman assured people of the South-East zone of adequate supply of the products.
He said measures had been put in place by petroleum marketers in the zone to ensure the constant distribution of products to states during the yuletide.
“My assurance to our people is that we will do our best to make sure that there are enough products to serve everybody.
“We are making our contacts to make sure that PMS comes in a very large quantity so that people will not suffer this season.
“I want to assure the people that we will not have scarcity. Products will be in all nooks and crannies of the states we are controlling,’’ Ezinwa said.
The chairman said the association was also working on action plans to combat pipeline vandalism in the area.
He added that IPMAN would meet with members of the National Assembly and governors in the zone to work out ways to fight pipeline vandalism.
“We are already meeting National Assembly members, so that they can help us put some provisions in the constitution to ensure governors are in charge of maintaining pipelines that pass through their states,’’ the chairman said.