The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Enugu depot, has warned that petrol may cost more in the South-East, should the Federal Government fail to reactivate the Emene depot.
The Chairman of Enugu depot of the association, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Awka on Friday.
Anyaso said that the depot had been lying moribund since 2005.
He was reacting to the increase in the pump price of petrol and the challenges faced by marketers in the zone.
He said the depot was strategic to the national economy, adding that it was serving Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, parts of Imo, Abia, Cross River and North-Central, including Benue State.
The IPMAN chief described the cost of transporting products from Lagos, Warri, Benin, Calabar and other locations as huge.
According to him, marketers do not get their equalisation fund as and when due.
He said that marketers in the zone were incurring huge losses due to incessant road crashes and spill involving their trucks as a result of poor state of the roads.
“We want to use this opportunity to renew our appeal to the federal government to repair the Emene depot in Enugu so that our members can start loading products from here.
“This depot has been shut down for over 15 years due to what they called pipeline vandalism.
“Our members are suffering and the people of the southeast and other areas that source products from the depot are suffering.
“For instance, the ex-depot price has been increased to N151.56, we will have to pay additional N14 for transportation and other expenses per litre depending on where we loaded before it is discharged in our stations.
“That will not be the case, if the product is pumped to the depot in Enugu and lifted from there, it will be much cheaper for us and enable us to sell between N160 and N162 per litre.
“We are ready to work with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on the security of pipelines.
“And fixing the Enugu Depot will also help a better-deregulated sector, which the federal government is pursuing,” Anyaso said.
Anyaso said that petrol might be sold for N170 in the southeast because of cost of delivering the products at the stations in the zone.
He called on members of the association in the zone to continue to provide quality services to the people to the best of their ability.
He further called on the governments of the states that depend on the depot to compliment IPMAN’s efforts to get the facility running again as soon as possible.
According to him, it is not just about profit for IPMAN members, it is about value for money for the people in these states.