By Bode Olagoke
Amidst scarcity of petroleum products, particularly the premium motor spirit (PMS) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and some states across the country, a major player in the sector, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has called on the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) not to relent in its effort to ease the suffering of vehicle owners at retail outlets.
National chairman of Petroleum and Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of NUPENG, Comrade Salmon Oladiti, made the appeal yesterday in Abuja.
The federal government at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last Wednesday in Abuja had expressed concern over the scarcity. Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, had disclosed that the government directed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to put an end to the fuel shortage last weekend.
Dr Kachikwu, at a separate briefing, said his ministry had instructed the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure monitoring of supply and distribution of the products.
The scarcity has since eased substantially in Lagos state and its environs, but long queues at retail outlets persist in the FCT and states in the North.
But speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Comrade Oladiti said his men were ready to assist NNPC to ensure speedy movement of petroleum products from the depots to retail outlets to end the sufferings of Nigerians at the receiving end of the present shortfall in supply.
He said: “Now that petrol is gradually available, we are ready to lift and ensure its availability.
“We don’t want Nigerians to go back to the era of artificial scarcity. We are ready to make sacrifices to ensure that lifting at the depots by our members improves.”