NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday called on Nigerians to hold the government and the its agencies such as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, and Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, for the unending fuel scarcity in the country.
This came as umbrella body for pro-labour civil society groups in the country, Joint Action Front, JAF, yesterday alleged the surreptitious plot by the Federal Government and the oil marketers to impose a new price regime for petroleum products, thereby artificially inducing and encouraging scarcity of petroleum products (petrol, kerosene and diesel) and its attendant hike in prices across the country.
NUPENG in a statement yesterday declared that reserve the NNPC said it had that could last for 45 days was a ruse and called on the government to do the right thing and stop the current fuel scarcity, assuring NUPENG's members, especially the Petroleum Tanker Drivers were at work but had no sufficient product to load at the depots for distribution.
In the statement by its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, lamented that hardship was compounded because repairs had not been done at the vandalized pipes at Arepo village in Ogun State due to the inability of the security agencies to recover the bodies of the NNPC workers that were killed, calling on the security agencies to recover the bodies and fish out the killers immediately so that they can be brought to book.
NUPENG called on government to pay verified oil marketers subsidies on products supplied, so that they can import fuel and pay banks monies owed them , in order to flood the market again., saying "NUPENG adds that Nigerians should not be allowed to suffer and pay more for petroleum products because the appropriate agencies and government are not proactive enough.
The union stresses that the persistent fuel scarcity must not be allowed to go into the Sallah and Christmas festive periods, as hoarding may become the order of the day. NUPENG calls on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to monitor sales of products and sanction filling stations that sell above the approved rate.
The union urges the federal government to take the Turn-Around-maintenance of the nation's four refineries seriously to avoid the national embarrassment. It states that these issues have been the standpoint of the union over time, but it seems that the government is bent on deregulation of petroleum products when the economy is in tatters."
Meantime JAF lamented that it had discovered that filling stations across the country, including NNPC branded outlets sell petrol at N110 to N140 per litre instead of the official price of N97, while kerosene is sold at N120 - N150 a litre instead of N50.
In a statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Dr. Dipo Fashina and Comrade Abeodun Aremu, respectively, the body said it was in the process of mobilising Nigerians and groups across the country towards resisting the current scarcity in fuel products and hike in prices, urging Nigerians to prepare to join the struggle anywhere they are when such action is declared.
It urged Nigerians to make PUBLIC (through www.jointactionfront.blogspot.com and other social media) names and locations of all STATIONS selling fuels above the current official prices (petrol @ N97 a litre, kerosene @ N50 a litre and diesel @ N70 a litre).
According to the statement "JAF wishes to alert Nigerians of the surreptitious plot by the Federal Government and the oil marketers to impose a new price regime for petroleum products, thereby artificially inducing and encouraging scarcity of petroleum products (petrol, kerosene and diesel) and its attendant hike in prices across the country. notes that filling stations across the country, including NNPC branded outlets sell petrol at N110 to N140 per litre instead of the official price of N97, while kerosene is sold at N120 - N150 a litre instead of N50."
"JAF does not find credible the recent statement credited to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, that it will SHUT down any filling station selling above the official prices, which is deceptive and aimed at disarming Nigerians from protesting against the current prevalence of fuel scarcity and hike in prices. As at date all the filling stations sell above the official prices and yet none has been shut. "