The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria said the non-functional state of the Port Harcourt Refinery has put many traders out of business.

The body said this during the 2023 Port Harcourt Warehouse Unit Annual General Meeting/Election held in Port Harcourt on Wednesday where Tekena Ikpaki was elected chairman.

Speaking to journalists, Ikpaki tasked the Federal Government to quickly complete the ongoing repairs at the refinery.

Although he stressed that his administration will ensure better leadership of the body, he advised that the installation should be completed and put into operation, highlighting that the delay was affecting companies in the area.

Ikpaki stated: “We will bring new ideas to the leadership of the body. We were elected to manage IPMAN's activities. We want to make a difference.

“It is our sole duty to ensure that everyone is satisfied, even if man's desires are insatiable. We will do our best to ensure that the products that will come from the refinery when it is completed reach our members and then reach our communities.

“The non-functionality of the refinery paralyzed many businesses and many people closed their doors. People who cannot support themselves with the little they have at their disposal.

“The goods and services that we know, moving from one part of the country to another, are transportation and that works with petroleum products. The dilapidation of the refinery affected the circulation of goods and services.”

Meanwhile, the Zone Chairman, System 2E of IPMAN, Prince Bobby-Ibekwe, expressed optimism that the Port Harcourt Refinery would fully commence operation in early 2024.

Bobby-Ibekwe tasked the newly elected executive of the body to ensure that members get products to sell when the Port Harcourt Refinery begins operations.

He challenged the executive of the Port Harcourt Unit of IPMAN to ensure the protection of the interests of IPMAN and members of the public to reduce the suffering experienced by Nigerians due to the difficult economic climate.