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High cost of petrol in South East due to 3 years shutdown of NNPC depots

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We reached out to sources and found the following about the high pump price of petroleum products in the South East that is between N240 and N255 per litre.

Our investigation however showed that due to the shutdown of the two NNPC depots in the zone in the past three years and eight months, procurement of products has been problematic and causing the hike in price.

The following timeline explains the details of that crisis that has been crippling economic activities in that part of the country.

February 2021

IPMAN chairman said in Awka that supply shortage was cause of problem. The chairman, Chinedu Anyaso for the Enugu depot said this.

* Anyaso lamented that they relied on other parts of the country for supply.

* No functional depot in the zone. They were lifting from Calabar, Warri and Lagos.

* At a point in early 2021, Warri stopped selling and dealers bought at N164/litre in Calabar. The landing cost stood at N170/litre then in February 2021 in the zone.

* Private tank farm owners many bought from sold at rates higher than the NNPC price and NNPC not doing anything to revive own depots at Emene and Osisioma

Early September

Court judgment to pay dealer N100m for demolition of filling station in Owerri by the Okorocha government was not paid by current one and IPMAN members went on strike over this. That spiked the cost.

September 20

IPMAN issued strike notice over police harassment at depot office, Enugu

Another says police didn’t harass but FCID came to enforce judgment over IPMAN leadership

October 20

IPMAN at the Calabar depot threatened withdrawal of services due to police harassment at its office over enforcement of court order and also for harassment of tanker drivers lifting petroleum. Since South East relies on Calabar, this spilled over to the zone.

Depot shutdown

On March 20, 2018, NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru said in Enugu during visit to Governor Ugwuanyi that  there were 700 security breaches on the Aba-Enugu pipeline and losses continued at more than 50% of pumped product after repairs.

He announced that the NNPC was not in a hurry to re-open those depots.

CONCLUSION

The shutdown promised by NNPC three years and 8 months ago is till in force.

Dealers from the South East source products from distant places where conditions cause cost hike till present.

The sources that spoke to us didn’t want to be quoted because of their leadership issues and factionalization. But the situation narrated here seems to be the cause of the problem.

SOLUTION

We leave that to you the elite and privileged of this zone for intervention at the right places.

When the Enugu and Osisioma depots are back to service, the story will change.

SOURCE: Africa China Economy Magazine (www.africachinapresscentre.org)

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