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By Kenneth Orusi, Ughelli.

Three years after it was set up, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Floating Mega Station in Ekrankoko, Delta State is yet to get a single supply of Petroleum product.

NNPC Floating Mega Stations in the riverine communities in the state were supposed to have started operation during the administration of late President Musa Ya' Adua.

FrontiersNews gathered that the non completion of the project has not only hindered the take-off of the station, but petroleum products are also sold at very exorbitant price.

Investigation revealed that not even the task force setup by Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR), to check abnormal increase in the price of fuel in the riverine area, could deter marketers who have continued to make abnormal profit from consumers.

Worst hit by the high prices are the riverine areas of Delta State where a litre of fuel is sold for as much as between N200 and N250, which is about 150 percent increase above the Federal Government approved pump price of N97 per litre.

Mr. Peremor Ebiyere, an indigene of Burutu explained to our correspondent that Burutu, Ojobo and Ekrankoko were surveyed for the project but only Ekrankoko was established, adding that the one for Ojobo Community was still pending when President Yar'Adua died.

"The NNPC Floating Mega Station is presently like a picture to us there. It is just there in the middle of the river like a government monument for the past three years without being put to use. Nigerians in the upland region are lamenting that they are buying the product between the range of N110 and N120 compared to the price those of us here buys the product, you will discover that the amount the product is been sold per litre in the upland is like a take-away price compared to what is obtainable in the riverine communities"

It was gathered that, the delay in the operation of the NNPC facility had been attributed to government's inability to get a qualified hand to manage the facilities, as well as modalities for payment before commencement of operations.

He noted that with the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan, and the consequent appointment of Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke as Minister of Petroleum, the community felt the project would be completed but the reverse is the case.

According to him, "the community leadership had made several attempt to call the attention of the Minister to the plights of the people in the riverine area but she has continued to pay them deaf ears".

"The NNPC Floating Mega Station is presently like a picture to us there. It is just there in the middle of the river like a government monument for the past three years without being put to use. Nigerians in the upland region are lamenting that they are buying the product between the range of N110 and N120 compared to the price those of us here buys the product, you will discover that the amount the product is been sold per litre in the upland is like a take-away price compared to what is obtainable in the riverine communities", he lamented.

Our Correspondent reliably gathered that, the NNPC Floating Mega Station was initiated by Mr. Tamaratare Brisibe, former member representing Burutu Federal Constituency at the House of Representative while he was the chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to alleviate the sufferings consumers in the riverine communities.

It was furthermore learnt that the contract for the management of the Burutu Floating Mega Station had been awarded to one Mrs. Carolyn Asari Dokubo also an indigene of the area.

Efforts to get the reaction of NNPC or DPR were not successful as their officials in Warri refused to make comment on the matter.

 

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