The Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) Branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has blamed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the recent fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.
The recent fuel scarcity being witnessed in many states across the country worsened on Sunday as long queues were once again noticed in filling stations by motorists and other users of petrol.
Many filling stations were seen shut in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and other major cities across the country on Sunday. The few stations that were dispensing the product recorded long queues of motorists who wanted to buy petrol into their vehicles, motorcycles and jerry cans.
Marketers and industry stakeholders, say the supply of petrol by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had dropped.
PTD National Chairman, Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, who spoke in an interview with reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said oil marketers were not hoarding fuel.
“We are not conniving with anybody to make Nigerians suffer for fuel. For some time now, we have not been able to load at NNPC depot in Apata, Ibadan and there is no hope of loading in some other NNPC depots in the Southwest.
“Government is responsible for this problem, because if they bring enough oil into the country, we as distributors we are ready to sell it out. It’s so sad that we are one of the largest producers of oil, but we are still suffering from scarcity.
“NNPC imports about 75 per cent of the oil we are consuming in the country. The remaining 25 percentage is for major marketers.
“What the government is trying to tackle still exist; corruption is still in the oil industry. There is corruption and bribery at the oil depots and you have to face this hurdle before you can load your truck,” he said.
He noted that government needs to find lasting solution to incessant fuel scarcity, adding that “the common man in the country is suffering.”
Motorists have lamented the many hours spent in queues for fuel even as others complained of having to empty their pockets to buy sufficient petrol to last for many days.
The NNPC on Sunday however said that it had taken delivery of four more cargos of petrol to keep the country wet.
In a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, the NNPC gave the total volume of petrol delivered as 180 million litres, adding that this was part of its new arrangement to have a cargo of petrol delivered daily as from March.
It also stated that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had warned depot owners against selling petrol above the approved ex-depot price.