The revival of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Enugu, Enugu State in April 2017 would restore over 3,000 jobs lost to the facility’s long inactivity, we gathered.
The Port Harcourt refinery stopped supplies to the depot, built in 1979 with an installed capacity of 12,000,000m/3 around 1996, following regular vandalisation of the pipelines linking it with other facilities, our source learnt.
The depot, with capacity to stock Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol, Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Automobile Gas Oil (AGO), was serving Enugu, Anambra, Kogi, Ebonyi and parts of Imo, Benue and Cross River states.
With over 500 marketers, it supplied six million litres of petrol, two million litres of kerosene and another two million of diesel daily.
Since its inactivity, marketers had resorted to sourcing products from Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt with the concomitant job loss.
But the National Coordinator, Anti-Pipeline Vandalism and Petroleum Products Adulteration, Prince Nexin Udoka Ahanonu, told reporters at the weekend in Enugu that the rehabilitation of the pipelines had almost been completed.
“It has been work is in progress. In the past two weeks, we have been parading the pipelines.
“For more than 10 years now, we have not had supply to this depot. It has seriously affected those of us operating the depot. We have lost many of our members due to the unavailability of products in Enugu depot. Many of us have gone bankrupt because some of us are using bank loans to do business and since the depot stopped working, many of us are going as far as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri to source for products. In the process, most of us lost funds. Trucks were hijacked and what have you.
“Before the end of April next year, Enugu depot will start working,” he stated.
Another stakeholder, Chief Livinus Onu, noted: “The closure of the depot has affected our business as we go the extra mile to bring these products, yet sell at the official price. This has always been at a great loss to our members as we most often lift products at higher rates from other depots. The reason we still sell at the official price is because there are products everywhere at the moment.”