Some marketers are spoiling for a war with the management of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC); a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over allegations of sharp practices, especially with the sale of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) at the Warri Refinery.
The group of marketers alleged that the Warri Refinery is a haven of "stinking and menacing activities" when it comes to sale of LPFO, a major product used by manufacturing companies.
Already, the marketers have petitioned the government over the matter. A copy of the document which was sighted by our correspondent pointedly accused PPMC officials of colluding with a particular marketer to perpetrate the act.
They alleged that the gang "has unabashedly continued to thrive in its nefarious activities at the expense of the marketers and the growth of the industrial sector."
According to the marketers, few weeks before the recent increase of the price of LPFO from N62 per litre to N72 per litre, the managing director of PPMC allegedly shut the refinery’s gates to trucks except Lagos-bound oil tankers that were allowed to load products. These vessels were allegedly discharged at a private depot owned by a marketer in Lagos and few days later, PPMC increased the pump price.
"In anticipation of loading the LPFO to the north, about 200 trucks have been at Warri Refinery for the past 30 days. However, the PPMC head office has directed that only marine vessels should be loaded while the trucks are left idle. It is instructive to note that these vessels that are given priority are hired and paid for in Dollars with tax payers’ money and their LPFO cargo are delivered to private depots in Lagos. This practice by the PPMC officials is contrary to the use of the trucks, which would have saved PPMC the foreign exchange that it pays the vessel owners for the hire."
According to them, it is shocking that whereas the Warri Refinery produces nearly all the LPFO need of the country’s manufacturing sector, its hardly needed in Lagos since most of manufacturing outfits are already connected to gas pipeline. It therefore manes that only companies that are located in n the northern part of the country are expected to load LPFO in Warri.