BY JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH, Abuja
Group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari yesterday assured Nigerians that the current fuel queues in major cities across the country will soon disappear.
He also explained that the queues have nothing to do with scarcity of fuel, but a consequence of an industrial action embarked upon by tanker drivers over their condition of service.
He gave the explanation while speaking with State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa.
A statement by the group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, quoted the managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Musa Lawan, as saying that there are about two billion litres of PMS in strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied for two months if no drop of fuel was imported in that period.
“We have embarked on massive load out. Today, we trucked out 1,661 trucks from all depots across the country. Reports reaching us show that they have already started arriving at the filling stations. We believe that this would ease out the queues,” Lawan reassured.
Kyari further stated that the management of NNPC has waded into the dispute between the tanker drivers and their employers and a truce has been achieved.
Consequently, he said, the drivers had suspended their strike for one week to allow for more interventions, adding that loading of petroleum products, which was affected by the strike, has commenced at all the depots in the country.
He said, “These queues will go away. It’s because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners around their compensation package and those issues were not resolved up till yesterday, until we intervene to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.
“As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution. So there’s really nothing fundamental that is happening now.”