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Fuel Queues: FG appeals, as oil marketers down tools



The Federal Government has assured to address the concerns of oil transporters and distributors to ensure smooth distribution following the high cost of operations and maintenance of trucks used in the distribution of petroleum products.

Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), made this known Monday in Abuja, when he met with some of the oil stakeholders in the downstream sector.

The stakeholders include members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

Our correspondent reports that the meeting became necessary in view of fuel queues which returned to various fuel stations.

This development is as a result of the suspension of operations by NARTO, in fulfillment of their threat to suspend lifting of petroleum products nationwide and down tools from Monday due to high cost of operations and maintenance.

NARTO and the oil marketers had complained of the high cost of diesel which is over N1, 300 per litre required to fuel their trucks for the transportation and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

Our correspondent who went round the city of Abuja disclosed that many fuel stations were not dispensing the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as fuel, while few marketers that were dispensing have long queues and sell between N617 and N675 per litre.

The NNPC Ltd. retail outlets that currently sell at N617 per litre also had long queues, while black marketers were seen on the roads.

The minister however, said the transporters had demonstrated patriotism and assured of constant and sustained engagement to find lasting solutions to their challenges.

“Nigerians are already going through a lot as a result of the circumstances we found ourselves in.

“The issues they raised are basically commercial and as a government, we have to intervene so that Nigerians will not suffer. At the end of the engagement, there will be a solution,” he said.

Speaking with our reporter after the meeting, NARTO President, Yusuf Othman, said the meeting was fruitful because the minister appreciated them and assured them of the government’s readiness to tackle their challenges.

“We are not fighting the government and it is not government business anymore to pay us freight rate, rather it is in the hands of the oil marketers.

“The oil marketers also made some increase in the freight rate which should be addressed too. The minister promised to meet with us and the marketers on Tuesday,” Othman told NEWSVERGE.

NEWSVERGE reports that the engagement which is expected to find a lasting solution to the challenges continues on Tuesday.

Emmanuella Anokam

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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