The Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), which was recently shut down, following a fire outbreak, is expected to resume operations this week.

The Warri Depot Manager of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Alli Abdallah, disclosed this at a meeting between the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), at Effurun, near Warri, Delta State.

Abdallah also said the supply of products such as petrol, kerosene and diesel was, however, not expected to resume until another week. Although, he was not categorical when asked when kerosene would flood the market, he assured listeners that the Christmas and New Year periods would not witness any fuel scarcity.

Kerosene has remained scarce in most part of the country, including Edo and Delta States, with the product being sold in the states for almost 150 per cent higher than the official price of N50 per litre.

In a related development, the IPMAN has pledged its readiness to collaborate with the management of the DPR to ensure that there is no scarcity of fuel, during the periods between November and January in the New Year.

IPMAN members were responding to expression of worry over some unsavoury practices that have continued to dog the activities of some products outlets in Edo and Delta States, made by the DPR Warri Zonal Operations Controller, Mr. Olumide Adeleke.

In his address to the annual meeting, Adeleke noted the alarming incidence of sharp practices by some filling stations, including the sale of adulterated products which seemed to be commonest in the Asaba end of the Benin-Asaba Expressway as well as the cases of under-dispensing at some filling stations.

The Warri branch Chairman of IPMAN, Chief Akpovire Edafevwotu, who exonerated members of the association from any blame concerning the adulteration of petroleum products, stressed that his members should be given a pat on the back for ensuring stability in prices of petrol in the last 12 months.

He noted that it was unthinkable that any products outlet operator would attempt to adulterate petrol with kerosene considering the scarcity and high price of kerosene today.

In his contribution, an executive member of the Edo-Delta zonal IPMAN, Mr. Austine Erhabor, said all questions about products scarcity and overpricing should be directed at private depot or fuel tank-farm owners; instead of accusing fingers being pointed to their members who only engage in selling products at prices determined by the PPMC or private depot owners.

The members were, nevertheless, unanimous that the challenges they faced in the course of their business no longer included harassment and extortion by policemen since Mr. Mohammed Abubakar assumed office as the Inspector-General of Police (I-G) and restriction of police activities on Nigerian roads and highways were subsequently introduced.

The DPR-IPMAN meeting was also attended by the Edo State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. Osikhena-Boih Donald; CSP Ukoh Nkereuwem, who represented the Delta State Commissioner of Police; Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba; the Head of Department (Downstream) of the DPR, Mr. Martins Eluji; Mr. Franklin Agbonlahor, who is the PRO of Edo State Fire Service, Chief James Shaghoro, as well as hundreds of IPMAN members.


[This Day]