FG blames tanker drivers, employers feud for fuel scarcity
The Federal Government has attributed the sudden return of queues at filling stations in parts of the country to what it described as unresolved feud between petroleum tanker drivers and their employers, among other issues.
Specifically, fuel stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have suddenly started witnessing long queues of motorists struggling to buy petrol since Saturday.
Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, assured the nation that the queues would soon disappear.
He gave the assurance, yesterday, while fielding questions from newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after he debriefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the goings-on in the nation’s petroleum sector.
Kyari attributed the observed scarcity to suspension of operations by the tanker drivers, who are protesting with their employers over some labour issues, assuring Nigerians that the worst was over as the strike had been suspended for one week.
The GMD said the tanker drivers, as at yesterday, had resumed lifting fuel from depots across the country.
“These queues will go away. It is because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package. Those issues were not resolved up till yesterday (Monday) until we intervened to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.
“As I speak to you, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatching of trucks is ongoing in all the depots. They have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution. So there’s really nothing fundamental that is happening now.”
The NNPC boss added that the agreement arrived at with the aggrieved drivers would enable the authorities to concretise a more lasting solution to the issues.
On the plan to end the petrol subsidy regime, Kyari said government was still in the process of coming up with the best way out of the debacle for the best interest of Nigeria.
“Subsidy is a policy matter. I’m sure you’re aware of this, there are engagements going on within government to get the best framework for having a fully deregulated PMS market.
“As this is going on, we are engaging all parties and all stakeholders as government and to make sure that at the end of the day, there’s an exit that is beneficial to the ordinary man.”
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