Posted by From Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 5 July 2012 | 3,708 times
The Osisioma depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) near Aba, Abia State, shut for about a decade ago is to be formally reopened for business next Monday, July 9.
Transport & Business Express learnt that the depot is already a beehive of activities as marketers have stormed the area to raise bank drafts that would enable them to lift products by Monday. It was gathered that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol has been pumped to the depot.
The depot was shut following complaints of pipeline vandalism by the Products Pricing and Marketing Company (PPMC) which said vandals perforated the pipelines 204 times along the about 50 kilometre-long pipeline from Port Harcourt Refinery to Aba.
Efforts by the Abia State Government and stakeholders, including the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Osisioma Branch, to have the depot re-opened before now failed.
About 10,000 persons doing oil business at the depot were thrown into the labour market as a result of its closure.
But at a stakeholders meeting held in August last year in Umuahia, the PPMC assured that the depot was set to be re-opened for business.
During the 2011 campaigns for the general elections, Abia State governor, Dr. TA Orji, promised to ensure the re-opening depot if re-elected. Upon his re-election, the government added more vigour to efforts to revive the depot.
The reopening ceremony slated for Monday is coming after a hydro test on pipelines was successfully carried out by the PPMC and was certified leakage-free.
Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals Development, Chief Don Ubani, who announced the resuscitation of the depot, had after the successful hydro test, urged NNPC not to delay any longer in pumping products to the Osisoma depot which has a pipeline network covering 5,000 kilometres and has about 1,003 outlets in Abia,
“The NNPC depot at Osisioma, which directly and indirectly provided employment for more than 10,000 Abians became dysfunctional as a result of illegal activities of hoodlums and unpatriotic youths who were fond of vandalising the PPMC lines for selfish reasons,” the commissioner remarked.
Ubani who has congratulated the governor and other stakeholders expressed optimism that once the depot becomes functional, crime will reduce to its barest minimum, adding that adequate security would be provided by the security agencies to forestall any acts of pipeline vandalism.
Abia Governor TA Orji
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