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FG Initiates Action to Ensure Fuel Supply as Oil Marketers Down Tools

The Federal Government has pledged to address the concerns raised by oil transporters and distributors, ensuring the smooth operation of petroleum product distribution despite the high operational costs, especially in truck maintenance. Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, shared this commitment during a meeting with key stakeholders in the downstream sector in Abuja.

The meeting convened representatives from major groups, including the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). It was prompted by the reappearance of fuel queues at various stations nationwide.

The queues emerged following NARTO’s decision to suspend operations, adhering to their earlier threat to cease lifting petroleum products and down tools due to the exorbitant costs of operations and vehicle maintenance. Both NARTO and oil marketers have raised concerns about the steep price of diesel, exceeding N1,300 per liter, required to fuel their trucks for nationwide transportation and distribution of petroleum products.

In Abuja, numerous fuel stations were not dispensing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as of Monday evening. Those that were operational faced long queues, with prices ranging from N617 to N675 per liter. Even the NNPC Ltd. retail outlets, selling at N617 per liter, experienced lengthy queues, while black marketers were observed on the roads.

Minister Lokpobiri acknowledged the transporters’ display of patriotism and assured continuous engagement to find lasting solutions to their challenges. “Nigerians are already facing challenges due to the circumstances we find ourselves in,” he stated. “The issues raised are essentially commercial, and as a government, we must intervene to prevent further hardship. We are committed to finding a solution through ongoing discussions.”

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