The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Tuesday asked the federal government to investigate the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil marketers if it really wants to put an end to the lingering fuel scarcity across the country.
This is coming as Conoil, a major petroleum products marketer, yesterday disclosed that it would take delivery of its imported cargo of 23 million litres of petrol tomorrow.
The congress, which expressed concern over the scarcity of fuel, said the familiar trend was unacceptable given the fact that the country remains the sixth largest producer of crude oil in the world.
TUC, in a statement issued by its President and Secretary, Bobboi Kagama and Musa Lawal respectively said it was “more depressing that the scarcity is artificially created by the same cabal that has vowed not to see the nation’s ailing refineries work.”
It observed that long queues of vehicles had reappeared at filling stations throughout the country, adding that this had crippled economic activities for over a week.
This, the congress stated, was happening at a time Nigerians are mourning the killing of thousands of people in the North-eastern part of the country.
“Over the years, workers in the oil and gas sector and other well-meaning Nigerians have repeatedly bemoaned the state of our refineries and called for new ones to be built but successive administrations have paid deaf ears to their cries.
“Instead, what we have had is gross mismanagement of the oil and gas industry to the extent that we neither know the quantity of crude produced daily nor how much the country really makes from the sector. Indeed, from all indications it may not be far-fetched to view the NNPC as the number one conduit pipe for siphoning the national wealth.
“The recent comments by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, when he said the NNPC failed to remit some due amounts of money to the CBN comes to mind. In as much as we fault the inconsistencies in the figures he mentioned, we are hard pressed to believe that there is some truth in his accusation,” the congress said.
Consequently, the labour centre urged government to x-ray the activities of the NNPC, marketers and every organisation that has anything to do with the oil and gas industry so as to put an immediate end to the present scarcity of fuel.
Meanwhile, Conoil’s latest import, in addition to the 33 million litres of petrol allocated to members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) by the NNPC is expected to ease the hardship motorists and commuters are currently facing across the country.
The management of Conoil in a statement last night, promised that the product will be evenly distributed to its filling stations across the country with a view to easing out the long queues within the shortest time possible.
The company also pledged its resolve to ensure availability of adequate petrol to motorists all through the year, as measures are in place to constantly supply petroleum products to its numerous filling stations across the country.
The Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Authority (PPPRA) last week approved the first quarter import allocation for oil marketers, including Conoil, Total, Oando, Forte Oil, Mobil and MRS.
The acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Oma Ibrahim, disclosed on Monday that the corporation had supplied 33 million litres of petrol to MOMAN for onward distribution to filling stations in the Lagos metropolis and beyond. He said the extra volume was supplied to the marketers as part of measures by the corporation to end what he called artificial scarcity of the product.