The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers on Monday in Abuja called on the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to intervene in the current fuel crisis in the country.
NUPENG’s General Secretary, Mr Isaac Aberare, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, that the intervention of the minister was imperative in the resolution of the crisis.
Aberare also called for the intervention of the NNPC, Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency and major players in the sector to tackle the scarcity.
“It is the intervention of the minister that can adequately solve the problem. She is the one who promised the marketers in February that in March, their outstanding subsidy, amounting to N264bn, will be paid,” he said.
The secretary explained that the marketers had claimed that the amount of money being owed them was huge and this had been suffocating their business.
Aberare said the marketers had also claimed that their cash was trapped such that they could not import the product unless they were paid.
“It is when the money is released that they can import petroleum products; for us as a union. We have little or nothing to address the situation.
“Our tanker drivers are not on strike, they are available to load the trucks but the product is not there for them to carry; so that is the situation,‘’ he added.
It would be recalled that Okonjo-Iweala had met with members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria on February 23, and agreed to remove all bottlenecks in fuel imports.
According to him, this includes the settlement of N100bn before the end of March to banks, in order to avert fuel supply crisis.
The minister had also met with officials of the Debt Management Office and members of the major oil marketers, to reassure them of government’s commitment to the sustained supply of petroleum products.