Just a month after normalcy returned after the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), hit major cities across Nigeria, the long queues have resurfaced in Abuja. A visit to some petrol stations on Monday revealed massive thronging of cars and petrol buyers, while some of the stations were shut down. Motorists at some of the filing stations decried the unfortunate situation lamenting that apart from the fact that it is causing distress, is ill-timed. The NNPC however advised against panic buying, saying petrol will be available in all depots across the country.
Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) responsible for delivering PMS to the filling station had planned to go on strike over the failure of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to negotiate the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement for new working conditions for the drivers. The collective bargaining agreement expired six years ago.
The national chairman of PTD, Salmon Akanni Oladiti, said the drivers would longer be able to guarantee continued service by members in the petroleum products distribution across the country if new conditions of service for PTD are provided within 14 days, with effect from March 27, 2021.
The union expressed concern that its members have been going through “harrowing financial situations while rendering selfless national services” to ensure delivery of petroleum products to homes and factories daily on deplorable highways.
Oladiti also berated the “increasing rate of fire incidences involving petroleum trucks with accompanying massive destruction of life and property of members and the general public.”