By Favour Nnabugwu
Abuja—Fuel scarcity looms as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENSASSAN, yesterday insisted on going on strike tomorrow to protest the proposed sale of the nation’s four refineries by the Federal Government next year.
Already, most petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, remained shut to customers in anticipation of the strike.
The two unions had on December 17, 2013, threatened to go on nationwide strike from this week if the Federal Government did not withdraw its plan to privatise the refineries.
Vanguard observed that some filling stations were locked up, though they had fuel in stock, apparently hoping to cash in on the anticipated scarcity.
Even the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, mega station at Kubwa was not left out.
Our correspondent who went round the city reported that most of the filling stations such as the two Total filling stations and Oando at Kubwa were locked.
A manager of a filling station at Kubwa claimed that the station had not been supplied fuel in the last five days
A customer, Mr James Morris, who was apparently angry over the development, told Vanguard that he had been to over four stations at Kubwa without getting fuel to buy.
He said the filling stations were still not awake to the reality that the strike had been called off, believing that the stations had fuel but just refused to sell in anticipation that NUPENG could still go ahead with its threat.
At Karu, Vanguard observed long queues in the few fuel stations that opened as motorists rushed to fill their tanks, while other people rushed in with gallons to get fuel for their generators. Even black marketers too were on queue to stock up.
The black marketers were ready to reap from the intended scarcity as they were seen displaying fuel in gallons in some streets, particularly near the filling stations that shut down.