IPMAN, Others: Reopen Koko Jetty, Taurus Depot

May 23, 2024

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and some stakeholders in the petroleum industry have asked the Federal Government to reopen Taurus Petroleum Depot and Koko Jetty in Delta State.

Both were shut since January, following investigation into a contaminated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), petrol, shipped in by Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

Taurus Depot, a major petroleum trucking outlet in the region, was sealed by Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, (NMDRA) in January due to investigation into the discharge of over 9.8 million litres of water in place of PMS shipped in by NNPCL through a vessel into one of its tanks.

The vessel, Mt Austria, has been immobilised and continued to obstruct the only jetty used to discharge fuel into other depots in the area.

While the outcome of an investigation into the incident is being awaited, commercial activities in the areas have been grounded with stakeholders warning that the situation is hurting investments and disrupting fuel supply to the region.

Chairman of IPMAN in Delta State, Harry Okenin, lamented the hardship faced by members, whose products were locked up in Taurus.

“Our members are dying. Taurus depot should be reopened for our members to take their products. We also want the Federal Government to open the retail NNPCL portal for us to buy fuel directly from the government,” he said.

Warri Zonal Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, Vincent Ojeagba, said that it was worrisome that the government would shut down a private investment like Taurus Depot without bothering over the huge consequences of such action on its owners.

He said: “Shutting a major depot like Tuarus is not a good decision by government. This kind of action is capable of discouraging investment in the sector. This issue here is clear. A vessel brought in 20 million liters of PMS and about 9.8 million liters was found to have been contaminated with water. Investigation commenced five months ago and to date, there has been no outcome. Meanwhile Taurus depot and Koko jetty remain shut. That is unfair.

“We are appealing to the Federal government to relocate to the vessel under investigation from Koko jetty to make way for other vessels to come in. Taurus depot should also be reopened for Marketers to access their products.”

A community leader in Koko, Daniel Obayendo, said the closure of Taurus Depot and Koko Jetty had not only crippled the local economy, but also lead to scarcity of fuel in the region.

“This is like a death sentence for our local community. Our people thrive on the business activities around Taurus depot but that is no longer the case since the depot was shut. Our appeal is that the government should reopen the depot”, he lamented.