The present fuel scarcity has become unbearable in Abuja, as another strike embarked upon by oil workers entered the fourth day, worsening a fuel crisis that has lingered for more than a month.
Most filling stations in the capital city, including those operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, shut its doors to the public.
The attendants at most of the stations visited claimed their facilities were out of stock and could not say when they would get their next supply.
The fuel crisis has already impacted the transport sector of the economy, with commercial transporters already adjusting their fares.
Spokesperson of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Babatunde Oke, blamed the situation on the lack of importation of petroleum products by fuel marketers as a result of the non-payment of the over N234 billion subsidy and interest claims.
“There is no fuel depot across the country with a stock of products. All the depots, including those by the NNPC and the independent marketers, have exhausted their stock of petroleum products.”
Executive Secretary of DAPMA, Femi Adewole, said none of the marketers has carried out any importation of products, as a result of the non-payment of the outstanding debt to them by government.
“Since the last meeting with the Minister of Finance with the marketers, nobody is talking about the issue,” Mr. Adewole said.
With key issues unresolved, particularly the non-payment of their independent counterparts and the Depot & Petroleum Products Marketers Association, further importation of fuel has since ceased, said the union leaders.
The situation worsened on Tuesday when members of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation chapter of the PENGASSAN in the NNPC made good their earlier threat to withdraw their services over the government’s refusal to accede to their demands.
On Wednesday, oil workers unions, under the platform of the PENGASSAN in the NNPC, joined the strike in solidarity with their colleagues in the NPDC, accusing the outgoing Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, of being insensitive to their concerns.
“The strike will remain for as long as it takes for government to resolve the issues the workers want addressed. Otherwise, we want the in-coming administration to ensure that the situation is reviewed on assumption of office,” Mr. Oke said.