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Economy

NNPC pleads as Tanker Drivers set to embark on strike over deplorable roads

— warns against panic buying
Eyewitness reporter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to the Tanker Drivers not to embark on their planned industrial action slated for Monday.
The plea by the management of the NNPC followed the decision of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to commence strike action on Monday over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.
Mr Tayo Aboyeji, the South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the union has lost many lives and properties due to bad roads.

Aboyeji said that all tanker drivers from the union would withdraw their services nationwide.

“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect the majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied.

“We are going on nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways.

“When a truckloads petrol in Lagos, the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.

“All calls by the executive of petroleum unions have fallen on the deaf ears of the government as the highways continue to deteriorate nationwide.

“The list of the highway are endless and the tanker drivers have been going through the harrowing situation while rendering selfless national service.

“The increased rate of fire incidences involving petroleum tankers with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and the general public is enough.

“This is because of government failure to enforce installation of safety gadgets on tankers.

“This will protect the inflammation contents of their trucks from spilling over in a situation of a road accident.

“We see the failure of the government in this regard as height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and the union cannot continue to hold its hands while our members are getting burnt everywhere and every day,” he said.

The zonal chairman said the union is not happy with the unscrupulous abuse of tonnage.

“There are some trucks that carry 60,000 litres to 100,000 litres on the highway.

“This load has a negative effect and impact on the safety and control of drivers on the wheel as well as durability and sustainability of the highway.

“The unions do not want any truck to carry more than the approved capacity,” he said.

Aboyeji said the union had given notice to the government to put all these in order to avert the nationwide strike on Monday.

“We know that the present administration would not do anything until we start the nationwide strike,” he said.

But the NNPC, through the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement issued on Sunday, advised the tanker drivers to shelve their plan to strike for the interest and welfare of the Nigerian people.
“The strike is about the condition of roads in various parts of Nigeria which are used for the distribution of goods and services including petroleum products.

“However, 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 adversely affect the business of the NNPC and endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed for a long time now.

“In recognition of this, the NNPC wishes to assure the Petroleum Tanker Drivers that in addition to the ongoing efforts by other agencies of government, the NNPC 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 thrust of the NNPC’s intervention is to make considerable funds available for the reconstruction of roads through it Future Tax Liability.

“NNPC as a responsible corporate entity recognises the legitimate concerns of the PTD, 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.

“We also wish to strongly advise Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through this festive season and beyond.“

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Economy

Nigerians to groan under fresh fuel scarcity for another two weeks- Independent Petroleum Marketers

The Eyewitness Reporter 
The current fuel crisis in the country may not go anytime soon as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned that the situation may likely persist for the next two weeks.
Speaking against the fresh fuel scarcity in the country, the IPMAN’s Public Relations Officer, Chinedu Ukadike disclosed that there is no petrol product available for supply in the country.
Ukadike, in a statement, said there is a breach in the international supply chain, adding that fuel is not available even for Nigeria’s sole supplier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NPCL).
This follows an ongoing turnaround maintenance of refineries in Europe.Ukadike explained that once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because they depend on imports.

“The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.

“On the part of NNPCL, which is the sole supplier of petroleum products in Nigeria, they have attributed the challenge to logistics and vessel problems.

“Once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because we depend on imports.

” I also have it on good authority that most of the refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance, so sourcing petroleum products has become a bit difficult.” IPMAN spokesman said.
According to him, “NNPC Group CEO has assured us that there will be improvement in the supply chain because their vessels are arriving”.“Once that is done, normalcy will return. This is because once the 30-day supply sufficiency is disrupted, it takes two to three months to restore it.

“We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply and with another week, normalcy should return,” he said.

Ukadike further stated that “NNPC has said the marketers who have not been able to renew their licences will not be allowed to remain on their portal which has been shut for some time now.

” Because of this, we have not been able to request new products”.

 “At this nascent period of deregulation, you will discover that this leads to scarcity, even when the product arrives.

“As it is now, even by their data, out of 15,000 marketers that are on the portal with licences, only 1,050 renewed their licences.

“The requirement for renewal by NMDPRA is so much. Marketers are facing a hostile environment. NNPC placed a deadline of April 15, 2024, for marketers to renew their licences.

“We are, therefore, appealing to NNPC to extend this deadline and also to NMDPRA to hasten the release of licences of marketers who have completed their processes, and also reduce bottlenecks around licence renewals.”

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Economy

CBN sells $15.830m at N1.021 per dollar to 1,583 BDCs

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso
The Eyewitness Reporter 
In its ongoing effort to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market which is expected to ease the pressure on the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday disbursed the sum of $15,830,000m to 1,583 licensed Bureau De Change Operators at $10, 000 each.
In a letter dated April 22nd, 2024 and addressed to the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria and signed by Dr Hassan Mahmud, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, the beneficiaries are mandated to sell allocated forex to eligible end users ” at a spread of not more than 1.5 percent above the purchase price.
The CBN said the sale of forex to the BDCs will meet market demand (retail-end) for invisible transactions.
The apex bank however advised all the BDCs to continue to abide by the rules and conditions as stipulated in the operational guidelines.
The beneficiary BDCs have trading locations at Lagos, Abuja, Akwa and Kano.
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Economy

News Alert! CBN revokes operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators for breach of regulatory guidelines

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Eyewitness Reporter

In its continuous efforts to sanitize the foreign exchange market and halt the frightening slide of the naira in exchange for the dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the operational licenses of 1,173 Bureau De Change operators.

In a press release issued Friday, March 1st, 2024 and signed by Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said the axed BDCs failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions which include payment of all necessary fees, including license renewal within the stipulated period in line with the Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, compliance with guideline, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering(AML), countering the Financing of Terrorism(CFT)and Counter-Proliferation Financing(CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it relied on the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act(BOFIA)2020, Act n0.5 and Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015(the Guidelines).

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective.

‘Members of the Public are hereby advised to take note and be guided accordingly”, the statement concluded.

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