The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 urged Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, to transfer all depot managers across the nation who have spent over 10 years in a particular depot.
While addressing journalists, the Eastern Zonal chairman of IPMAN, Chief Chukwudi Ezinwa, blamed PPMC management for allowing depot managers to stay as long as 18 years in a particular depot.
According to reports, he accused them of sabotaging the system which he claimed lead to scarcity and hike in prices of petroleum products sometimes.
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 sanitize the place.
“There have been occasions where we accuse a staff of PPMC of taking bribe to give us product and nothing is done about it. Nobody has ever set up an inquiry to investigate these allegations and this raises further question of total corruption in the system.
“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 released was about 90 trucks but only 12 marketers who were in line got products 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 are no way people in Aba and environs will have petroleum products. It is turning into a market for the highest bidder. And legitimate marketers who are supposed to have products are starved and we have cried for a long time but government doesn’t appear to be interested in checking the situation.”
However, in reaction to the claims, the Aba depot manager, Mr. Emmanuel Mgbakiri urged Ezinwa to lodge his complaints directly to the area manager and tell him what he had done wrong for a proper handling of the case.