Oil workers fault govt’s temporary measures on petrol supply
• Urge oil firms to evacuate staff from Niger Delta
• Meet on deregulation today
As the lingering fuel scarcity continues, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has described the temporary measures by the Federal Government to cushion the crisis as a failure.
The Chairman, PENGASSAN, Lagos State Chapter, Abel Agarin, told The Guardian yesterday that the Federal Government was only putting up temporary measures which are not enough to meet the demands of Nigerians.
He said: “We have to hold the minister of petroleum resources responsible because he has failed in his promises to Nigerians. He promised us April 7, that the fuel queues will vanish, and we are still here today suffering to get fuel.
“I am also thinking that may be what they have imported has also finished. The issue here is that we don’t know where we are heading with this government, because promises are unfulfilled,” he said.
The Guardian survey yesterday revealed that the queues at the filling stations are becoming longer, while the pump prices are becoming higher.
Already, the product is now sold for about N130 per liter at some filling station, while it goes for N110 per liter at the depots.
The consumers have heaved a sigh of relief for about a week, but they felt disappointed on Monday when the scarcity situation returned.
Agarin urged the Federal Government to sustain the fuel supply to independent and major marketers.
“We don’t know where we are heading to and the economy is not properly funded. But, now that the budget has been signed, we are hopeful that the queues will vanish soon and things will return to normal.
“We voted for a change, not a change of hardship, but a positive change,” he said.
However, the association is already preparing to meet tomorrow in Calabar to take a position on the reported planned deregulation of the downstream sector.
Also, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) has enjoined the oil firms operating in the Niger Delta to evacuate staff from the region following several attacks on oil facilities.
Reports showed that the attacks have already pushed Nigeria’s crude output near to 22-year low, sparking worries that militants might resume a full-scale insurgency in the region.
Chairman of NUPENG, Warri branch, Cogent Ojobor, said: “The best thing for any reasonable company to do is evacuate its workforce.”