Ikpeazu urges NNPC, PPMC to pay special attention to Osisioma depot
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed to the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to treat the Osisioma, Aba depot as a special case as it is the only functional petroleum depot in the entire South-East region.
He also assured that his administration would continue to provide support and assistance to the business community at the depot to ensure that it continues to render its supply services to the state and entire South-East region.
Governor Ikpeazu disclosed this while hosting a delegation of the depot community comprising executive members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) and the Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
He stated that the state government recognizes the relevance and strategic roles the depot plays in the state and national economies.
He explained that the desire of his administration to reconstruct the Osisioma-Eke Akpara-Owerrinta road with rigid pavement technology up to Eke Akpara was to give the petroleum dealers a conducive business environment that would facilitate their operations and regretted that the Federal Government’s decision to take over the project has delayed the progress of work on the road.
The governor regretted that all his efforts to convince the Federal Government to allow him to do the road at least up to Eke Akpara were rejected.
The state governor noted that he has held several meetings with the NNPC management on how to ameliorate the plight of the petroleum dealers, promising to continue to sustain his engagement with the management of PPMC. He assured that he would soon visit PPMC headquarters with some members of the unions to drive home their requests.
The governor encouraged them to remain peaceful towards sustaining the operation of Aba depot and promised to donate a vehicle that will assist keep watch over the pipelines against vandalism.
Bobby Dick, chairman, IPMAN, Aba depot, who led the delegation, explained that their visit was to appreciate the efforts Ikpeazu has shown in their wellbeing and growth of their businesses, especially the move to reconstruct the Osisioma- Eke Akpara-Owerrinta road as he did on the Osusu and Ehere roads, among other road projects executed in the state.
He, however, regretted the delay in executing the project as a result of the decision of the Federal Government to take over the project.
He appealed to the governor to intervene on the deplorable road that has been jeopardizing their business and pressurize the NNPC to regularly provide the Aba depot with the three major petroleum products – petrol, diesel and kerosene – to enable other states in the region to access them.
He also appealed to the governor to impress upon the NEPC to protect the pipelines against vandals by paying the security men regularly as well as upgrade equipment and facilities in the depot, noting that the depot which was built in the late 1970s was overdue for upgrade.
Godfrey Chukwunyere, member, Board of Trustees, Aba depot community, thanked the governor for investing in infrastructural development and requested for his intervention so as to make their operations more effective.