Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured Nigerians that the current queues at fuel stations in different parts of the country would disappear soon.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari gave the assurance on Tuesday, after a routine briefing with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Since Saturday, fuel stations at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been experiencing long queues of motorists struggling to buy the premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.
The situation worsened today (Tuesday).
Kyari explained that the suspended operations of tanker drivers, who were protesting over some labour issues with their employers, was the cause of the scarcity.
He added that the tanker drivers have already resumed lifting fuel from depots across the country, after the suspension of their planned strike on Monday.
According to him, the agreement struck with the aggrieved drivers would enable government to reach a more lasting understanding on the matter.
“These queues will go away. It’s because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners around their compensation package and those issues were not resolved up till yesterday, until we intervene to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.”
He also assured, “As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution. So there’s really nothing fundamental that is happening now.”
The NNPC Boss while responding to plan to end the petrol subsidy regime, said government was still in the process of working out the best way out of the current situation, assuring that it would be in the best interest of the ordinary citizen.
“Subsidy is a policy matter, I’m sure you’re aware of this, there are engagements going on within government to get the best framework for having a fully deregulated PMS market.
”As this is going on, we are engaging all parties and all stakeholders as government and to make sure that at the end of the day, there’s an exit that is beneficial to the ordinary man.
He said “That is why we know we will not be able to complete that in the month of May and and therefore we declared that there will be no increase in fuel price. I have no update in hand now, this is beyond me, but we’re engaging to make sure that we have the right timeline.”
Kyari while speaking on how recent rising crude oil price at the global market had impacted the NNPC’s revenue, especially during a season when the country is discussing removal of fuel subsidy, said: “you know it works both ways. Once prices increase, your revenue also increases.
“So I don’t have any numbers around it, but I also know that your obligation to price of petroleum increases and your net revenue also increases. There’s a balancing factor, I don’t think there’s anything much to worry about.”