The Trade Union Congress has expressed dismay over the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and the suffering it has brought to Nigerians.
This is as the union said part of the problem was the attitude of independent marketers who keep changing the pump price with impunity.
The TUC Chairman in Rivers State, Ikechukwu Onyefuru, stated this during a news briefing in Port Harcourt.
Onyefuru wondered why a country that produces crude oil suffers acutely from the unavailability of the product to citizens.
He stated, “We know the issues around the availability of petroleum products where pump price of petrol in Rivers State is averaging over N400 per litre as we speak.
“This is against the official rate that we all know and which the government has not come out clearly to say: we have increased or not.
“If you move around Port Harcourt and its environs, you will see long queues everywhere. Not just that there are long queues, the product is not even available for motorists in Rivers State to access.”
While noting that Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation had gone private to NNPC Limited, he urged the company to brace up to the challenge and revamp all the distribution networks across the country.
“If we have the distribution networks working and we have all the receiving facilities waiting, you will discover that we will have products available in all the facilities across the country,” he said.
Onyefuru further said Nigeria was now at the mercy of private facility owners who, he said, were also in business to make money.
“When they receive products they have to do the necessary markup based on the price with which they are given petroleum products to sell to Nigerians.
“And all these culminate into what we see today where especially in Rivers State we don’t have products anywhere. In some filling stations, PMS sells as high as N500 per litre where you even see it.
“Marketers are now proud and bold to change the pump prices to N400 and N500 with impunity.
“In the past, it wasn’t done. Even when they try to sell above pump price, they hide it. But today they do that with such boldness.
“Where that boldness comes from is what we don’t know as Nigerians. TUC Rivers State frown at it,” Onyefuru said.