Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Fuel Scarcity Worsen As Petroleum Depot Stop Sale Of Products In Rivers

Another round of shortage of petroleum products has hit Port Harcourt, Rivers state, even when the strike by the National Union of Petroleum Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) was called off a week ago.

The present shortage has been attributed to the refusal of Tank Farm and Depot owners to sell products to marketers protesting over the delay in payment of petroleum subsidy by the federal government.

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Rivers state made the clarification in its official Facebook page posted today, it said:”We would like to clarify that the current shortage of petroleum products experienced in Rivers State has nothing to do with NUPENG, PENGASSAN or even the  Trade Union Congress.”

According to TUC,” We understand that the shortage is mainly due to protest by Tank farm and Depot owners over the delay in payment of their subsidy claims. Essentially the Tank Farm and Depot owners who at present supply majority of the filling stations in Port Harcourt load one or two trucks per day and stop.

“The truth is that they have products but decided to embark on this Go-slow to draw the attention of the public to their situation.”

To ameliorate the situation before it deteriorates, TUC Rivers state  however appeals to Depot owners and Tank Farm owners to reconsider their position in the interest of the ordinary people who passed through harrowing experience just two weeks ago.

It would be recalled that a strike by NUPENG in the Port Harcourt zone caused that lasted for two weeks caused untold hardships for consumers of petroleum products. Their grouse then was that Weatherford Nigeria Limited, an oil services company located in Trans Amadi Industrial Estate of Port Harcourt, victimized their members and an attempt to picket the company armed Policemen from the Rivers State Command brutalized some of their members with four of them hospitalized.

NUPENG on Wednesday, October 21, called off its strike that crippled fuel supply to the state and its environs.

In a communiqué by the state chairman, TUC, Mr Chika Unuegbu, the Port Harcourt zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Godwin Eruba and others, said at a stakeholders meeting in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Kenneth Kobani, the management of Weatherford, agreed to withdraw the letters of redundancy issued 20 members of NUPENG and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, pending conclusion of negotiation between the firm and the unions.

The calling off of the strike brought a relief to motorists and commuters who were forced into paying through their nose to buy the scarce petroleum products.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company has not issued official statement on the allegation of delayed payment of petroleum subsidy.