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Fuel Scarcity: Govt’s misplace priorities responsible, says NUPENG

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has blamed the Federal Government for the scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), popularly known as petrol in the country. The union said the scarcity of the product is caused by the government’s misplaced priority.

Speaking during the 5th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of NUPENG in Ibadan the Oyo State capital, NUPENG President, Comrade William

Akporeha explained that rather than blaming tanker drivers for petrol scarcity, the blame should be put on the doorstep of the government, who he said had refused to build new refineries in the last 30 to 40 years.

He queried the rationale for importing petrol and diesel when these products could be refined locally if the refineries are working.

Akporeha said: “Why are the scarcity of petrol? Where is the product? The scarcity is not caused by tanker drivers but government’s misplaced priority. If the product is available, members will move it around.

“By importing the product, you are exporting capital, exporting jobs by doing so,” the NUPENG boss said. To turn the tide, he called on the Federal Government to put the refineries to ensure that petroleum products are refined locally.

“I don’t think it’s rocket science to do that. The refineries we have today were built by the military 30 to 40 years ago”.

He described PTD as the most sustainable aspect of NUPENG, saying that their roles affect everybody in the country.

Also speaking at the event, the outgoing National Chairman, PTD Branch of NUPENG, Comrade Salimon Akani Oladiti, said the ban on night travelling by tanker drivers have helped in saving lives and drastically reducing the rate of accidents, especially at night.

He also said through the collaboration with stakeholders especially the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the rate of accidents involving Tanker Drivers had reduced while Tanker Drivers’ involvement in Petroleum Pipeline vandalization has been tackled with all the seriousness it deserves.

Oladiti recalled his concerns for the safety of lives of Petroleum Tanker Drivers dated back to his younger days as a driver and on the assumption of office in 2014, he made a policy to inculcate discipline among members hence the decision to ban night traveling.

“We launched a vigorous campaign to ban night movement of Petroleum Products. Today, the ban on night traveling has saved lives and reduced drastically the rate of accidents, especially at night,” he said.

He added that while accidents involving tanker drivers had reduced, fuel scarcity has been minimized due to the commitment of PTD members who are always on duty.

He disclosed that the PTD partnership with NARTO, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the FRSC, and other relevant stakeholders has brought incessant strikes by PTD members to the barest minimum.

He also commended the FRSC Corps Marshall, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi for collaborating with PTD to introduce the use and enforcement of speed limits in their trucks.

“This measure helped in a tremendous way to reduce incidences of Tanker accidents on our roads. Instead of being enemies, we have partnered so well like friends and mutually helped to reduce carnage on our roads. For that, our wonderful Corps Marshal deserves a special award today,” he added.

He said his administration also remodeled and renovated PTD head office in Abuja; built befitting zonal offices; embarked on diversification of sources of income for PTD; acquisition of land for housing and ultra-modern tanker parks; the welfare of members; human capital development via local and international for members; and ban on night traveling to enhance safety of lives of members.

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