Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says movement of petroleum products within the South-East zone is being greatly hindered by the condition of some inter-state roads.
Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu depot, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday.
The gridlock, particularly at border towns of Anambra, Amansea and Ugwuoba at the Enugu end, had extended beyond Anambra Government House towards Arroma junction in Awka.
Anyaso, who was reacting to the gridlock on the Ugwuoba-Awka stretch of Enugu-Onitsha expressway, that said about 250 trucks had been trapped in the traffic in the past one week.
He said that the trucks included product-laden ones going to Enugu and Ebonyi states, and those scheduled for Anambra, which had gone to Enugu to register for Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and were returning to their outlets.
The chairman said that those that had discharged their products and heading back to various depots were also trapped.
According to him, if the situation continues for few more days, many filling stations may run out of products, thus triggering artificial scarcity.
“The poor state of Awka-Amsnsea-Ugwuoba road on Enugu-Onitsha expressway has constituted serious challenge to free movement of goods and services.
“We marketers are suffering huge losses; some of our tankers have fallen and have to be trans-loaded, while many of our drivers have had to sleep on the road for days as a result of the situation.
“Presently, we have more than 250 trucks, both loaded and empty, that are trapped. The danger is that filling stations may dry up, thus causing increase in price within the depot community.
“We call on the Federal Government and governments of the affected states to effect the necessary repairs in order to ensure free flow of vehicles,” he said.
Meanwhile, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has attributed the situation to failed portions of the road.
Public Education Officer of FRSC, Anambra Sector Command, Margaret Onabe, in a statement, said that the impatience of motorists also exacerbated the chaotic traffic situation.
“FRSC, Anambra sector command, notes with grave concern the chaotic traffic situation in Awka and its environs, especially on Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
“The root cause of the problem is the failed portion of the road at Amansea, which has rendered the road impassable for vehicles, especially the articulated ones.
“This has, in turn, created long queue, with the backflow extending to Immigration junction. The effect of the queue, coupled with the characteristic impatience of many road users, led to the traffic snarl.
“We appeal for patience and understanding from all road users within the state,” she stated.