… Want SE Govs To Intervene
Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Members of the Imo State branch of the Association Petroleum Marketers have said that it would continue to be impossible for them to sell petroleum products at the government approved pump price of N86.50 much as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) refuses to allocate reasonable petrol products under its `special petroleum intervention quota’ to the state.
They said they could only get the products from private tank farms who sold to them at the above official pump price.
Speaking with journalists in Owerri, the state chairman of the association, Chief Christopher Amadi, stated that low allocation being received by the State was equally given to other south-eastern states of Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra, a development he said had compounded petrol scarcity in the zone.
“While other states receive more than 10 million litres under the NNPC petrol intervention quota, no state in the south-east gets above one to two million litres, and this low allocation is the reason why petrol scarcity in the area seem different’’ Amadi noted.
He said, “if NNPC increases quantity of petrol to Imo, and other states in the south-east, marketers will sell at government control price.’’
Amadi appealed to the governors of south-east to assist petroleum marketers and look into the low allocation of petrol allocated to states in the zone.
Most filling stations in Imo sell a litre of petrol at between N140 and N150 as against the official pump price of N86.50.
Amadi further said that marketers were experiencing difficulties in sourcing products, “we only source products from private tank farms in Lagos, Calabar, and Port Harcourt at relatively high prices’’.
The association Chairman added that due to far distance and relatively high rate of transporting the products, marketers could not afford to sell at the approved price of N86.50 per litre, saying “marketers in Imo are not shylock minded as some people feel, but we are constrained to sell above official pump price as a result of the difficulties we are facing.’’
He therefore, called on the federal government to step up effort in reactivating all the nation’s refineries, noting “this present situation whereby Nigerians almost depend on private tank farm for the supply of petroleum products is bad.
“I also appeal to NNPC to reactivate the NNPC depots in Aba, Enugu, and Makurdi, as well as construct a depot to serve Imo state. Population of Imo state alone has doubled what it was when NNPC Aba depot was constructed to serve the old Imo State.”