The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has ruled out the possibility of re-opening its Enugu depot in the nearest future.
The depot has been out of fuel supply for several years now, leaving marketers with the option of shopping for the product in other areas.
However, the Corporation has said although it was desirous to resume supply of fuel to the Enugu depot, it would not be visible at the moment.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti K. Baru, who made the disclosure in Enugu, insisted that as long as vandals continued their nefarious activities on the on oil pipelines, there would be no supply to the area.
He spoke during the NNPC Special Day at the on-going 29th Enugu International Trade Fair.
Dr Baru also spoke on the problem of ‘profiteering’ among fuel dealers in southeast zone, particularly in Enugu and its environs where dealers sell fuel above the official price of N145 per litre, and condemned the attitude of such marketers who make fortunes at the detriment of the average consumer in the area.
According to him, he had earlier held a meeting with Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on how to make the Enugu depot functional, but he explained to him that the implication of vandalization of the oil pipelines, one of which is that “if the vandals don’t stop their negative activities on the oil pipelines, there won’t be supply to the area.”
Baru disclosed that the NNPC has so far recorded 685 spots of vandalization of oil pipelines between the Aba and Enugu depot, maintaining that “as long as this thing continues, there’s no way we can supply petroleum products to Enugu depot.”
He said that Enugu depot was a very strategic one to the corporation, assuring the southeast zone of rehabilitation of facilities and resumption of supply of petroleum products so long as vandalization of oil pipelines was brought to an end.
On profiteering and the shylock attitude of some oil marketers in the zone, Baru said there was no reason people should be selling fuel above the official price of N145 per litre while using cost of transportation as an excuse.
“The issues are many but we need your assistance; we need your cooperation. Talk to your members,” Baru specifically told the President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Sir Emeka Udeze.
“It is our desire to have the depot re-opened because it is from there that we pump fuel to Makurdi and Yola. But it will be difficult for us to supply fuel to the Enugu depot as long as this continues.
“So, we want you to appeal to our people, especially within Isiagu and Osisioma in Abia State and other areas,” Baru added.
The ECCIMA boss had earlier in his keynote speech, appealed to the GMD to ensure resumption of fuel supply to the Enugu depot.