…As NNPC blames fuel scarcity on NARTO, PTD strike
By Sebastine Obasi & Michael Eboh
A day after the expiration of the three-day deadline given by Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, to stop lifting petroleum products due to debts owed them by the Federal Government, fuel scarcity has hit Lagos and environs.
The crisis worsened as motorists spent an average of 12 hours at petrol stations in their quest to purchase the commodity.
Also, majority of the fuel stations had altered their pump price, selling between N100 and N130 per litre.
The prolonged scarcity had also brought in its wake, a hike in transport fares, prices of commodities and services both in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
In Oshodi, Ojuelegba and Ojota areas of Lagos, commuters were seen stranded, as there were few vehicles plying the roads.
In Abuja, large crowd of pedestrians were seen at almost all the bus stops, as one of the cab drivers told Vanguard that commercial drivers are left with no other option than to hike their fares, as most of them had to purchase fuel from the black market at a minimum of N200 per litre.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had blamed the fuel scarcity currently witnessed in some parts of the country on the strike action embarked upon by the members of National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, over their disagreements with major oil marketers.
NNPC in a statement by Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, said the strike was in protest of the huge amount NARTO and PTD members claimed they are being owed by major oil marketers.
To this end, the NNPC said the truck drivers have refused to lift petroleum products from the coastal depots.
“We are, however, working towards a speedy resolution of the issues to ensure a hitch-free distribution of products across the country,” the NNPC assured.
The NNPC also appealed to NARTO and PTD to call off the strike in the interest of the country and not unleash unnecessary hardship on Nigerians.
Furthermore, the NNPC assured Nigerians that it has enough stock of petrol to service the country for 27 days at a national consumption rate of 40 million litres per day even as it has stepped up efforts to end the distribution challenges in the fuel supply system.
According to the NNPC, “we have sufficient stock of petrol at our coastal depots in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Calabar.”