16 December 2014, Lagos – Following the continuous decline in the prices of crude oil in the international market, the amount the Federal Government is paying on subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, has dropped to N4.48 per litre.
This came as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, assured Nigerians that the ongoing strike embarked upon by members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, will not disrupt the supply of petroleum products to members of the public.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), in a document obtained from its website, yesterday, puts the market price of PMS at N101.48 per litre, as at Decmber 12, 2014, compared to N108.38 per litre as at December 9, 2014.
According to the PPPRA, the Expected Open Market (EOMP) of fuel is N101.48; Landing Cost -N98.15; Ex-Depot price is N81.51 per litre, while the regulated price is N97 per litre.
The assurance by the NNPC is against the backdrop of long queue of vehicles that resurfaced at most filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and its environs yesterday on account of the strike announced by the unions.
The corporation in a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, advised fuel consumers to avoid panic buying or stockpiling of petroleum products as that could lead to needless queues or cause fire accidents that could lead to loss of lives and property.
He said: “The NNPC is in talks with the leadership of the unions who gave the assurance that they would not disrupt fuel supply and distribution system as the strike was basically aimed at addressing the anti-labour issues by some of the International Oil Companies, IOCs.”
He revealed that the NNPC and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, had over 32 days stock of petroleum products available for supply across the nation during the yuletide and beyond.
According to him, 17 additional petroleum laden vessels are at the Lagos port waiting to discharge to the various depots for onward distribution to members of the public.
He assured that everything was being done to ensure that there was no hitch whatsoever in the supply system that could bring any form of hardship to motorists and those who intend to travel during the festive period.
“We advise marketers to desist from hoarding or diversion of petroleum products as any marketer caught in the act would be sanctioned,” he said.
However, despite the commencement of the strike, situation was normal across some states of the federation, especially Lagos, while long queues were recorded in petrol stations in Abuja, caused mainly by panic buying.
Most petrol stations along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos, like NNPC Retail, Mobil, Iluobe and Techno Oil, were seen selling fuel to motorists, while about 100 petrol tankers were seen queuing to load fuel from the depots at Apapa.
Also, almost all the depots in Apapa were opened for operation, while majority of the filling stations around Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Apapa were seen dispensing fuel to motorists.
Oil workers in Nigeria, under the aegis of NUPENG and PENGASSAN, had yesterday, embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike to protest over a number of issues, including calling for a reduction in the pump prices of petroleum products in line with the slump in global prices of crude oil.
Other issues, according to the oil workers, are the inability of the government to carry out Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the refineries, delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, non -implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act to reflect Nigerian’s in management positions and expatriate quota law.
They are also hinging the strike on the appalling state of access roads to refineries and oil depots’ facilities, insecurity in the country that has led to the death of members, appointments in government agencies in disregards to succession planning, compulsory deduction from workers’ salaries for the National Housing Fund, NHF, casualisation and contract staffing and unfair labour practice by companies and government agencies among others.
On the umbrella of NUPENGASSAN, a fusion of NUPENG and PENGASSAN, the oil workers issued a 14-day ultimatum to government October 31, 2014, threatening that at the expiration, they would no longer issues any notice to government because the issues had been protracted and government and other affected companies had not shown any commitment to addressing the workers grievances.