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Going by the recent rehabilitation of Lagos, Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin petroleum products depots at a huge cost on government, indication has emerged that the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has dumped the facilities only to consolidate supplies to private depot operators in Lagos.
This act according to findings has continued to put Lagos bridges at risks of collapse due to heavy weights and also caused undue frustrations to road users on port access roads till today.
Otherwise, by the reason of the completed rehabilitations, oil tankers traffic in Lagos ought to have reduced but it has not been so due to NNPC’s non-pumping of products to repaired depots.
These were the revelations of the Chairman of Kwara State chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Olanrewaju Okanlawon in an interview.
He decried the act saying, “it was worrisome that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation after rehabilitating the depots at Lagos, Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin had abandoned them in preference to supplying private depots’ owners”.
“Before, the Minister for Petroleum (Ibe Kachikwu), was coming to the depot to interact with stakeholders, even the tanker drivers. He interacted with them and asked questions but such does not obtain again.
“The minister is only interested in the upstream sector, and the downstream sector is dying. The downstream needs his attention. He should stop visiting all the big firms in the upstream. He should concentrate on the downstream that is affecting the masses. The PMS is still a regulated product. There is ex-depot price of N133 and at the retail level N145. That is the law. But we have realised that the depot owners are above the law.”
IPMAn boss also accused the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) of sabotaging Federal Government’s efforts to make petroleum products available to Nigerians at the regulated price.
According to him, “Presently NNPC does not have product in all its facilities. But all the depots that have depots, it is the NNPC that sells to them. We have realised that it is collaboration between the NNPC staff and private depot owners. We do not know what they are getting from it.”