As citizens continue to groan under fuel scarcity and the attendant price hike, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Enugu state branch, has called on the federal government to make haste to restore the Enugu depot that has been lying comatose for 25 years.
The IPMAN chairman, Chief Chinedu Anyaso, made the call in Enugu Wednesday evening at a press briefing organised by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Enugu state chapter on the challenges Nigerians face over the scarcity of the newly redesigned naira notes as well as the galloping petroleum product prices.
Anyaso, represented by the secretary, Iloafor Nnaemeka, lamented that because of the closure of Enugu depot, it has been a herculean task for IPMAN members lifting fuel for the South-east zone as they either get supplies from Port Harcourt, Warri or Lagos at very high cost and risks.
He said if the depot resumes operation, supplies would flow and they would be able to sell at government regulated pump price.
He absolved IPMAN from the fuel scarcity and the hike in price, saying that the cause is man-made.
“The problem is man- made. We have a depot in Enugu and for twenty-five years, government has not done anything about it,” he said. lamenting that the federal government would not support the modular refinery so that the products would be available and affordable.
“The federal government has refused to support the modular refinery to have enough supply. Nobody derives joy in the suffering and hardship of the people. Our trucks suffer in transit which often entails trucks falling or catching fire,” he cried out.
He urged the FG to do something to reduce the suffering of Nigerians.
The chairman of the Enugu state chapter of the NYCN, Comrade Atigwe Henry, while addressing the media, expressed concern over the biting difficulties created by the lack of cash for citizens to carry out their daily transactions as well as the high price of petroleum products.
Speaking on the street protests nationwide being embarked upon by angry youth over the suffering, Atigwe said, “However, for us, the youth of Enugu state, we cannot afford to do a street protest due to the current security challenges, South-east and Nigeria at large, for we do not want hoodlums to highjack the process and start destroying people’s property just like that of the ENDSARS.”
He called on the federal government and banks in the state to make haste to ensure that citizens have access to their monies to enable them carry out their daily transactions.
“We are doing media protest to warn that the government should not take us for granted,” he said.