WorldStage Newsonline– The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the lack of kerosene supply to western depots by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), saying, the corporation should make the product available to reduce the suffering of masses during Ramadan period.
Alhaji Debo Ahmed, the Chairman, IPMAN western zone who made the appeal in Lagos said that marketers operating from the five depots which comprises of the western depots, Mosinmi, Ejigbo, Ilorin, Ore and Ibadan had not received kerosene product for a long period due to distribution challenges.
He said that the product, the best option of the common Nigerians to be use during the fasting period would go a long way to address their hardship is made available at depot for marketers.
According to him, independent marketers will ensure efficient distribution of the product in all retails outlets across the south-west region if made available at the depots to prevent scarcity.
Ahmed said that only few service stations and private depots had kerosene at a very high price to the final consumers.
He said, “NNPC has not supply depots with kerosene supply for long time. We are appealing to them to please give us kerosene so that we could also distribute the product.
“NNPC should give us kerosene so that the supply chain could be consistent, since this product is used in almost every home.
“We are saying that if NNPC imports it should give the kerosene to all those running retail outlets, major marketers, independent marketers and depot owners, so that we could distribute to the final consumers at affordable price.’’
He urged the government to come to the aid of masses who could not afford the price of cooking gas by providing kerosene to the depots so that it would be available in the filling stations.
“This is not the right time for our refineries to stop kerosene production, everybody cannot depend on gas,” he said.
“The common man cannot afford the price of cylinder and cooking gas. Our mothers in the village depend on kerosene, an essential household commodity to cook.
“Government should not just sit down watching the masses suffering, they should address the issue and make the product available.”
The IPMAN chairman, however, urged the corporation to expedite the rehabilitation of Ore and Ilorin depots to ease petroleum distribution within the axis.
He said that restoration of operations at the depots became necessary to reduce the stress of marketers going to Lagos depots to load which, he said, posed serious risks and additional charges.
He said Ilorin and Ore depots that had about 20 million litres of storage capacity, had been moribund for over ten years.
Ahmed said that the supply of products to these depots had been a serious challenge over the years, impacting negatively on the operations of marketers.
He urged the management of NNPC to intensify efforts on the rehabilitation to boost the distribution network in the regions to address the shortage in the hinterlands.