Fuel scarcity looms as tanker drivers down tools over bad roads

• NNPC begs, asks Nigerians to avoid panic buying

The country may yet face another fuel scarcity following plans by petrol tanker drivers to embark on strike action on Monday over the poor state of the country’s road network.

Tayo Aboyeji, the South-west Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, had said the union has lost many lives and properties due to bad roads.

But, in a statement issued by its Spokesperson Garba Deen Muhammad, on Sunday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) appealed to aggrieved tanker drivers too, in the interest and welfare of the Nigerian people call off its planned strike action.

It said even though it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, any disruption in the distribution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will not only adversely affect its business but would endanger energy security.

However, It assured that in addition to the ongoing efforts by other agencies of government, it has initiated a process that will provide a quick and effective solution to the roads network challenges as expressed by the PTD.

“Having recognised that the major reason slowing down the rehabilitation of the road networks in the country is the paucity of funds, the NNPC has expressed interest to invest in the reconstruction of select Federal roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Task Credit Scheme,” the statement partly read.

It said the thrust of its intervention is to make considerable funds available for the reconstruction of roads through its Future Tax Liability.

“NNPC as a responsible corporate entity recognises the legitimate concerns of the PTD, we however appeal to the leadership and members to reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.

“Accordingly, we urge PTD to immediately call off the strike notice and give the current efforts by government and its agencies a chance to solve the challenges in the interest of all,” it added.

To this end, it advised Nigerians not to engage in panic buying petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through the festive season and beyond.

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