28th December, 2011
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) and petroleum tanker drivers in Aba, Abia State, have given NNPC/PPMC a 14-day ultimatum to pump petroleum products to Aba depot or face service withdrawal.
The two bodies at a joint press conference with the state Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Akujobi Nkoro, in Aba, said they would down tools on 6 January, 2012, if the NNPC failed to act.
Chairman of Aba Depot Reactivation Committee, Mr Simple Nwankpa, lamented that the depot was shut down since 2006, following the activities of pipeline vandals.
He said the depot which supplied petroleum products to the entire South East operated for three weeks in 2008 and stopped.
Nwankpa said over 700 marketers with more than 4,000 outlet lifting from Aba depot, had been denied product supply for five years.
He said the IPMAN had assisted in the reactivation of the depot including procurement of HILUX van to PPMC.
Nwanpa added that IPMAN had engaged 150 youths from the communities where the pipelines traversed for security purposes, with a monthly wage of N3.6 million.
According to him, PPMC maintenance and technical teams have been able to maintain and repair the pipelines from Port Harcourt to Aba depot, without any form of harassment or molestation.
He said the last hydro testing recorded a hundred per cent success.
â€œThis was attested to by the management of PPMC both at the Port Harcourt area office and Aba depot office.
â€œHaving fulfilled the tasks as agreed with PPMC top management, it is as shocking as it is disheartening to note that PPMC have refused, neglected and reneged on its promise to pump products to Aba depot citing frivolous excuses,â€ he said.
Also speaking, the commissioner appealed to them to sheath their sword as the state government had moved into action to ensure that the depot came on stream.
Nkoro said the plan to down tools would not be in the interest of the South East and Nigeria.