Some members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ondo State chapter, have raised the alarm over the alleged illegal evacuation of fuel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Depot in Ore, Ondo State.
According to them, the products allegedly evacuated included diesel, kerosene, and Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.
The protesters, who had shut the main entrance of the Ore depot since Friday, alleged that the depot had been neglected for over 15 years, saying it was worrisome that the products meant for Ondo and Ekiti states were currently being diverted to other parts of the country.
The leader of the protesters, Salisu Ojo, disclosed that some people came with letters from the NNPC headquarters to evacuate the diesel and kerosene from the depot and said the development would not be acceptable.
He said, “It was later discovered that the people, who evacuated the products, ended up diverting and selling the products to non-existing companies in Lagos to aid their diversion.
“Having discovered the development, we have to protest when the same set of people came with another letter to evacuate premium motor spirit from the depot.”
He noted that the people of Ondo and Ekiti states were currently suffering from non-availability of diesel, kerosene and PMS which had led to long queues at filling stations mostly in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Ojo called on the relevant agencies to investigate where diesel and kerosene that were loaded last week went into and also to make sure that the remaining PMS (petrol) at the depot spread across the two states- Ondo and Ekiti.
Similarly, the IPMAN Chairman, Ore Depot, Mr Shina Amoo, has appealed to the Federal Government to assist the members of the association from being out of the business following the unfavorable price of the Premium Motor Spirit.
Amoo declared that selling a litre of petrol for N165 was not profitable again to the IPMAN members, hence the intervention of the government.
He stated this while speaking with our correspondent in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday, on reason for fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.
According to him, the Pipeline Petroleum Marketing Company has not let the association load the product at N148 per litre and it had not been easy for his members to get the products at private depots.
He said, “The PPMC has deprived us the right to load petrol at official price of N148. A lot of our independent petroleum marketers have been struggling up and down to get this product from various private depots all over the states.
“All these depot owners have been selling to us at premium, that is between N153-N158 per litre. None of them could sell official price and since we have been making noise about this and government is not doing anything, we have concluded.
Amoo further explained, “Depots in Edo or Delta State sell N157.50k. Depots in Lagos and environs sell at N157.00, transportation in between is N10 to N11 per litre. considering other loading expenses, landing cost of petrol to any station in the South-West is between N175 – N180. The PPMC started the RRR (Remita Retrieval Reference, the central approval to load, a year back, we all thought it was going to help in bringing sanity to our business in area of equity availability and distribution but all of a sudden we were totally sidelined.
“Attention was being given to major marketers and private depot owners and they are selling to us as they like. Many of the IPMAN members are out of business, some of us are bankrupt while some are already unhealthy because of the NNPC’s unhealthy policies of favouring one party than the other. If you see any independent station selling at pump price of N165, please praise him because he’s doing this base on his patriotism, but there is a limit we can go. This is the more reason we may no longer sell petrol at N165. We have seen that the NNPC has interest in indirect price increase.”