Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Akwa Ibomh has decried artificial scarcity of fuel caused by the Petroleum Tanker Driver’s (PTDs) in the state.
Operations Controller of DPR in Akwa Ibom, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, made this known to our reporter in Uyo on Thursday.
He said that the development followed misunderstanding between PTDs and security agencies since September last year in the state.
“We discovered that PTD has blocked entrance of trucks from neighbouring Calabar and Port Harcourt from bringing petroleum products to Akwa Ibom.
“On Monday, we got information from Petroleum Executives that PTD branch of NUPENG shut down the entry points where trucks pass from neighbouring states to supply petroleum products to the state,” he said.
Kingsley-Sundaye explained that one of the security agencies in the course of doing her job, pursued the truck driver and the tanker somersaulted and spilled its contents.
He noted that the PTDs were asking for compensation for damages from the government.
The operations controller appealed to the union to resolve the crisis with relevant authorities with dialogue.
He said that their actions had caused adverse effects on the public.
“We are appealing to them to dialogue with relevant government authority that is involved instead of putting the entire state to long suffering,” Kingsley-Sundaye said.
Kingsley-Sundaye called on the state government to urgently intervene in order to resolve the matter with both parties.
He further called on PTD to always report such matters to DPR in order to resolve the matter amicably.
Reacting, Mr Godwin Okono, Chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Calabar PTD, expressed worry over the way the state government was treating its members in the state.
Okono explained that the problem started at Calabar-Itu highway when one of the security agencies pursued its member with 40 litres of products and the truck fell down.
“The whole truck and AGO was damaged and the truck was still in custody since September last year.
“We have written to the state government and the security agency but to no avail,” Okono said.
He further said another reason why they blocked the entrance of petroleum products was that the state government demolished its member’s filling station without paying for compensation.
“The Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang, demolished the filling station at Oron road without paying compensation to build another station.
“Government should give us another land to start another filling station,” he said.
He said that no petroleum product would enter the state except government paid them compensation for damages.
Reacting, Mr Ephraim Inyang, the Commissioner for Works, said the filling station was demolished to clear the drainage problem at Oron road in Uyo.
He explained that state government through its consultant, had paid compensation for the filling station in Feb., 2019.
“The Chairman of PTD is being dishonest because the state government have paid the compensation.
“They came forward (PTD) and say that they are looking for compensation on the spillage.
“Yesterday the SSG told me and this morning we offered the sum of N8 million for the spillage. The filling station have been paid in February this year.
“We demolished the filling station as far back as December 2018 and you can not go to strike in the whole state and say the compensation was not paid,” the commissioner said.
Our reporter checks revealed that most filling stations were not open and fuel sold between N180 and N200 per litre.