Reports reaching us reveal that, the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, will be holding a secret meeting with petrol marketers on how to resolve the lingering fuel scarcity causing Nigerians untold hardship.
Tokunbo Korodo, the south west chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) disclosed this information today, May 19.
Korodo said Buhari will meet Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association (DAPPMA) on the subsidy matter.
“I think the outcome of that meeting may determine if DAPPMA will reopen the depots for loading or import more into the country,” he said.
The chairman noted that the prevailing fuel shortage may worsen if depot traders shut their depots to tanker drivers. He continued that no tanker driver had loaded petroleum products as at 1.30p.m on Monday.
“What I was told was that the independent depot owners may have shut their depots to tanker drivers because of the over N200 billion owed them by the Federal Government,” Korodo said.
He added that the repositioning of tankers from highways and the inability to load fuel at the depots, were responsible for the free-flow of traffic in Apapa axis.
According to him, the previous directive by the Lagos State Government for tanker drivers to move from the highways within 48 hours had not produced any result.
Korodo said tanker drivers have freed the highways, but other heavy duty vehicles, particularly container drivers have taken over.
“The government cannot chase tanker drivers away for other heavy duty vehicles to occupy the space.
“Lagosians should know that tankers have not been the problem of gridlock in Lagos.
“We occupied the road because we were told to pick fuel only at Apapa,” he said.
Korodo, however, advised the administration to appease importers to come back to the sector.
It should be noted that the petroleum products’ dealers on May 14, said they would no longer import products except the Federal Government settles their subsidy claims.
The government had put the subsidy debt at N131 billion while the traders insisted it is N200 billion. For the past four decades, the government has been subsidising the consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria.
It should be recalled that the Nigerian Telecommunication Limited held the nation’s communication system hostage for several decades until former President Olusegun Obasanjo, broke its domination.