Petroleum marketers on Thursday called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to address the loading challenge at the Ejigbo depot to avert fuel scarcity in Lagos and environs.
The Chairman, Petroleum Tankers Driver, Ejigbo Branch, Alhaji Akanni Moruf, said that truck drivers had to vacate the depot when it became obvious that pumping of petroleum products was not likely.
He said: “The disruption to loading has affected us greatly because we are being paid on service rendered. Now that the depot is shutdown, most of us are idle without food to eat.
“Some of us who took the pain to go to Apapa to load had to return due to the heavy traffic on the road. We are left with no option than to appeal to government to help us pump products to this depot.
“We have been assured that the maintenance will not take more than two days but it’s gradually running to a month now.”
Chairman, Independent Marketers Branch of NUPENG (IMB), Mr Adeshina Olagunsoye, appealed to the NNPC to address the marketers on the challenges hindering pumping of products to the depot.
Olagunsoye said this would go a long way in assisting both the general public and marketers to understand the position of things at the depot rather than keeping mute.
“This situation is seriously affecting our businesses and most depots within the South-West are also complaining of low stocks.
“I hope the management of NNPC will act fast to avert lingering scarcity because if the situation extends to weekend, it will cause serious scarcity within the western zone,’’ Olagunsoye said.
When a NAN reporter visited on Thursday, the gate of the Ejigbo depot was under lock and key, even though some officials were within the premises.
An official who preferred anonymity told NAN they were still waiting for pumping of products to the depot, and that the maintenance of a sectional line at the depot had been completed.
The Group General Manager, public affairs of NNPC, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, assured that pumping of products would resume at the depot on Thursday.
Ughamadu gave the assurance in his response to NAN, saying repairs were carried out on the pipeline that runs from Atlas Cove through Mosinmi, Ibadan to Ilorin due to sectional failure from vandalism.
According to him, the repair had been completed and pumping would resume on Thursday tonight.
He added that the depot had been receiving supply until the repairs commenced few days ago.
“Ibadan and Mosinmi have normal loading operations,” he said.