22 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has accused fuel marketers in the country of causing the current petrol scarcity, saying they want the price of the product to be increased.
The association distanced itself from the cause of the scarcity as it wondered why people were blaming it for the scarcity, which began two weeks before it issued its seven-day strike notice on December 7 and later called off the action.
Adducing reason why the scarcity had persisted even after PENGASSAN has called off it strike notice, PENGASSAN National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Fortune Obi, said: “There is scarcity because marketers want petrol price to be increased.
“They have been arguing that the margin is not profitable and therefore seek increment which the government has been resisting and pegging at N145 per litre.
“Secondly, the rivalry between IPMAN (Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria), MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria), and DAPPMA (Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association) over fuel allocation is a cause.
“The leadership controversies in IPMAN also contributes to scarcity.
“Hoarding by fuel stations owners and panic buying Nigerians is equally a problem for the scarcity.”
Recommending solutions to the scarcity, he said: “Department of Petroleum Resources and government agencies should go out to enforce sale of products from fuel stations that are hoarding the product. Virtually all stations have petrol, but they are not ready to sell so as to exploit the people.”
He explained that the Federal Government’s issue with IPMAN was on before PENGASSAN’s seven-day ultimatum.
“I wonder why people are blaming PENGASSAN for the current fuel scarcity in the country.
“The scarcity started two weeks before PENGASSAN issued a seven day strike ultimatum notice on December 7. Then, the problem of the government and IPMAN was at the front burner, when IPMAN threatened showdown with government over irregular supply of petroleum products. Despite resolving the problem, the scarcity persists,” he said.
Obi maintained that when PENGASSAN issued its strike notice, “it did not last for 14 hours before it was called off.
“Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, assured that there is enough products to go round the Yuletide season. Then, why the scarcity?” he queried.