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Strike: Fuel Depots May Run Dry By Wednesday.

’Femi Asu

Should the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Petroleum 
and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria be allowed 
to linger beyond Wednesday, most depots in Apapa, Lagos, will 
run out of fuel stock, our correspondent has learnt.

Following the commencement of the strike on Thursday, 
loading at Apapa depots, where many marketers get petroleum 
products to other states, has been reduced due to the absence 
of workers of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Board.

The PEF personnel usually certify marketers’ trucks to enable them to 
get bridging funds for fuel being transported to distant parts of the country.

It was gathered that marketers were only loading to Lagos and other 
South-West states that required no payment of bridging fund by the PEF.

The Federal Government had said it would meet with the 
leadership of PENGASSAN today (Monday) in a bid to resolve the problem.

A source, who is an official of an independent marketing 
company in Lagos, said, “Terminal owners can only load 
what is in their tanks, but they cannot receive any product 
now from vessels.

 If they finish what is in their tanks now and bring in any vessel, 
the Department of Petroleum Resources is not going to certify 
it for discharge. They do a lot of tests on any product that comes to Apapa.

“That is how it is going to affect the supply in Lagos if 
the strike lingers on. Depots in Apapa should finish their 
stock on or before Wednesday. I don’t see any depot that 
will still have stock after Wednesday in Apapa.”

The Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Rivers State chapter,
 Mr. Chika Onuegbu, said fuel distribution was the smallest bit 
of what would go wrong as a result of the PENGASSAN strike.

Onuegbu said, “I think the main impact will be this week when 
production facilities, export terminals and gas supply to power 
plants will be shut down. It will affect the government’s revenue 
significantly. I pray we don’t get to that extent, because the 
economy is already in a bad shape.

“That is why the government should act fast and engage
 the union to resolve the issues.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Friday 
cautioned members of the public against embarking on any form 
Cof panic purchase of petroleum products in anticipation of scarcity due to the ongoing strike.

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