LAGOS—NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday expressed
concerns over the recurring scarcity of petroleum products, especially
the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, known as petrol across the country,
threatening to ask workers to stay at home should the scarcity
Congress in a statement insisted that the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, must immediately intervene in the current hardship
imposed by the scarcity of products as this might hinder the ability of
workers to get to their work stations, calling on government to restore
sanity to the supply chain to save the citizens from unnecessary
suffering and hardship.
NLC in a statement by its factional President, Ayuba Wabba, said:
“Nigerians are yet to be told what the cause of the current scarcity is;
we however believe government will not allow any individual or
corporate organisations sabotage efforts to restore sanity and good
governance in all facets of our society as it is obvious the ongoing
scarcity is calculated sabotage by petroleum marketers to sell the
products at high prices for more profits.
“Petroleum products, especially petrol is key to our economy as it is
what powers commuters, including workers, offices and businesses.
The delays motorists contend with in long queues at petrol stations
have led to loss of unimaginable man hours which have impacted
negatively on our economy. We therefore call on government to
strongly intervene by sending out appropriate agencies, especially the
Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to enforce the sale of the
products as some marketers have been reported to be hoarding the
According to the statement: “We restate our call for the speedy
reactivation of local production of petroleum products as the country
will continue to be held hostage by global economic manipulations if
we remain tied to importation of petroleum products even when we
have the resources to produce for local consumption and export.
"While it is regrettable that bad governance, misplaced priorities and
corruption has almost killed the petroleum industry, we believe a
serious government can revamp the industry within one year. There
are examples of countries, especially neighbouring Republic of Niger,
where one of the best refineries were built within a year. Nothing
stops this government from doing same."
“In any case, despite their perilous states, we have it on authority that
our four refineries are still one of the best in the world and can be
turned around and even have its capacity upgraded; all that is
required is to have effective Turn Around Maintenance conducted on
them. The refineries are not beyond repairs. They have been
abandoned to ensure Nigerians are ambushed by proponents of
privatisation who believe every sector must be privatised. Those
advocating for the sale of the refineries are waiting to buy them
because they know the refineries are still one of the best.
“Indeed, we believe the recurrent scarcity of petroleum products is part
of the roadmap designed by forces who wish to hoodwink us into
accepting privatisation of the refineries. We will not accept a situation
where major oil companies operating in Nigeria will have refineries in
other countries where they ship our crude for refining and sell what
they refined from our crude through importers of petroleum products
to our country. Why have they not built their own refineries in
NLC added: "It makes no common sense that this situation continues.
While our resources are enriching other countries and creating jobs for
citizens of other countries, our country and citizens are groaning
under high currency exchange rates, deepening unemployment and
infrastructural collapse. Government must demonstrate seriousness in
our collective affairs through decisive interventions in revamping the
petroleum industry and stamping out corruption.
"We can’t continue to be import dependent and expect our economy to
grow. When ordinary citizens lament over the excruciating hardship
unleashed on us by bad governance, what we expect is for our
government to rescue us by rebuilding all infrastructures that have
hindered our growth as a result of past neglect or deliberate damages
done to them in the past.”