The United Labour Congress on Monday declared that the current petrol scarcity being experienced across the country was a clear manifestation of another failure of leadership in Nigeria.
According to the ULC, its investigations show that the petrol scarcity is not as a result of panic buying or hoarding, as often alleged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, but the product is in short supply.
It also stated that it would resist any attempt by the government to increase the pump price of petrol, notwithstanding assurances by the NNPC that there was no such intention.
This is coming as queues petrol persisted in Abuja and neighbouring states of Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa on Monday.
In a statement signed by the President, ULC, Joe Ajaero, the union said, “Our investigations and reports reaching us from our affiliates in the industry show that the present debacle is clearly a manifestation of another failure of leadership in Nigeria. It cannot be blamed on any panic buying nor hoarding as the product is seriously in short supply.
“Importers are not bringing in enough products, while the NNPC is not in any position to meet the demands of the market. It is, therefore, neither the fault of the workers in the sector as the Petroleum Tanker Drivers are assiduously working and lifting available products to the filling stations, nor workers at the various filling stations and depots across, who are on standby to discharge their obligations as required.
“Importers cannot bring in products because of bottlenecks created by the government at the point of procuring foreign exchange, while the NNPC lacks the capacity to bring in more products that are needed this period.”
The union stated that it was worried by the unbroken chain of ineffective governance by those who walk the corridors of power in Nigeria, and declared that it would resist any attempt to hike the pump price PMS.
It said, “The ULC is afraid that the government may be playing its old trick prior to raising the price of petroleum products in the country and we want to warn that Nigerian workers under our aegis will work assiduously to resist such insensitive intentions.
“This has become a game politicians play against the people but we vow to work to ensure that the outcome of this time will be in the favour of Nigerian workers, Nigeria and Nigerians.”
It added, “It is indeed surprising that a government that raised the pump prices of petroleum products, especially PMS to N145/litre, with the promise never to allow the return of fuel queues, is sitting on its rump and giving excuses why the same queues have returned with a vengeance.
“We believe that there is no excuse strong enough for this government to give over this worrying situation. Government should fulfil at least its side of the bargain. That is the only way to go.
It is even worse trying to deflect the blame and push it on the unions in the sector, which is not true as this truly shows continuous disrespect for the citizenry that elected these same leaders into office.”