Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to, as a matter of urgency, transfer or change all depot managers, who have stayed in a particular depot for more than 10 years.
Eastern Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Chief Chukwudi Ezinwa, while addressing newsmen in Enugu yesterday, blamed PPMC management for allowing depot managers stay as long as 18 years in a particular depot, accusing the latter of sabotaging the system, which he noted sometimes, led to scarcity and hiked in prices of petroleum products.
He said: “I think the problem is that most of them have over stayed in a particular depot, where they have made so many friends and in a bid to satisfy those interests, other marketers are suffering. So, they should be transferred so that new people will come and sanitise the place.
“There have been occasions, where we accused a staff of PPMC of taking bribe to give us product and nothing was done about it. Nobody has ever set up an enquiry to investigate these allegations and this raises further question of corruption in the system.”
Ezinwa, who accused the depot managers of frustrating the products loading process meant to ensure availability of products, said: “Rules are no longer followed at the depot, all they do is to give priority to the highest bidders and those loyal to them.
“The report I got from the unit chairman in Aba shows that the depot manager is not playing according to the rules. PPMC have rules and the rules are that you release products according to the programme. The last batch he (depot manager) released was about 90 trucks, but only 12 marketers, who were in line got products, while others were diverted making it difficult for marketers in the programme to get and sell to the public.
“I have made efforts to talk to the depot manager of the consequences of what he is doing, but it always fell on deaf ears. As far as IPMAN is concerned, if the Aba depot manager is not changed, there is no way, people in Aba and environs, will have petroleum products. We have cried for a long time but government doesn’t appear to be interested in checking the situation.”
Reacting, the Aba Depot Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Mgbakiri, denied the allegations and wondered why IPMAN should go to the press without reporting him first to the appropriate authorities, saying: “If he feels I am the problem, he should go to the area manager and tell him what I have done wrong; there are proper ways of channelling issues. Please I am a public servant, I am not permitted to talk to the press.”
Culled from Sun