The Rivers State Branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN has warned that they can no longer guarantee the supply of petroleum products in Port Harcourt and all the catchment areas of the Port Harcourt petroleum depot.
The Rivers State Branch Chairman of IPMAN, Joseph Obele, gave the warning on Thursday at the site of the collapse of one of the bridges across the Okulu River at the Eleme section of the East – West Road.
Obele said having confirmed the state of the bridge and road, IPMAN cannot risk its trucks on the road until the road is fixed.
“We have seen and confirmed that a critical part of the bridge has collapsed and motorists are using just one lane thus causing serious traffic along this very road.
“And going forward, we want to say we cannot guarantee steady supply of petroleum products anymore. The reason is that this very bridge is one of the most critical and one of the most active; and one of the busiest roads in the whole Nigeria. A road leading to NPA, FOT and FLT; the road linking to the big fertiliser company at Indorama, Notore, Onne, Port Harcourt Refining Company, PPMC. We will not allow petroleum products and facilities on the road. A truck of products is worth eight, nine million naira. We cannot take that risk on this state of the road.
“We are hereby calling on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, our brother and leader, Godswill Akpabio, to release funds to the contractors. We are aware that part of the funds has been released to the contractor, RCC, and we are hereby calling that they should do the needful so that the project will start in earnest in order to save lives; and in order to make movement and life meaningful to the people of Eleme, Rivers State, and Nigeria,” Obele said.
The bridge gave way following a heavy rain on Wednesday. This led to a chaotic gridlock along the road on Thursday.
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