The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have accused security operatives manning filling stations across the country of aggravating fuel scarcity.
It said security operatives who should have been deployed to fight Boko Haram, kidnappers and armed robbery that are making life unbearable for Nigerians are now working at filling stations, causing confusion there.
Its National President, Comrade Igwe Achese who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NUPENG, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to redeploy the security operatives fight terrorism and other crimes ravaging the country.
Achese also said the security challenges on oil pipelines and on the movement of fuel from one state to another are equally contributing to the fuel scarcity.
He blamed the refusal of the Federal Government to carry out Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) on the nation’s refineries for the past 16 years for contributing to the fuel scarcity.
Achese who read the communiqué issued by the union said: “It is a shame that we cannot do TAM which takes only a year period on our refineries within the last 16 years.”
He also lamneted that fuel subsidy was being fraudulently managed, adding that this is a contributory factor to the scarcity.He pointed out that NUPENG would resist subsidy removal if it is done without TAM on the refineries.
Carrying out TAM before the subsidy removal he said would “enable the refineries to produce optimally and cushion the hardship such policy implementation will undoubtedly have on hapless Nigerians.”
Achese did not spare the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for contributing to the fuel scarcity saying about 80 percent of petroleum products are being imported by the company with its attendant bureaucracy adding that “the Treasury Single Account is not in the interest of Nigerians.”
Continuing, Achese lamented that the exchange rate of dollar to naira is still high adding that “the political will we handed over to this government is not to afflict Nigerians with hardship.”
In the 10-point communique, Achese said the Federal Government should flood the market with petroleum products to arrest the current fuel scarcity in the country especially at this festive period.