HURIWA Criticizes NNPCL Over Roadside Hawkers of Fuel

HURIWA Criticizes NNPCL Over Roadside Hawkers of Fuel

… Says Company is Incompetent as Nigerians are left to the Mercy of hoodlums

Despite the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. assuring the public that the current fuel scarcity and long queues will be resolved by Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, criticism has been directed at the NNPCL for being   incompetent and lacking direction, allowing hoodlums to take control of selling petroleum products near major filling stations at inflated prices.

This situation has resulted in thousands of motorists waiting in endless lines at fuel stations in various parts of Nigeria for hours in order to purchase petrol for their vehicles and generators to provide electricity in their homes.

Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria said it is a shame that both in front of the corporate headquarters of the NNPCL in Abuja and in front of Transcorp Hilton whereby President Tinubu recently addressed a conference on counter terrorism, street hawkers of fuel made up of street urchins and hoodlums, loiter around those landmarks selling their procured fuel at highly exorbitant rates.

Stating its stand in the situation, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA)  in a media statement by its  National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,  told the NNPCL pointedly that it was a wicked act of unprecedented dimensions that the nation’s sole importer of finished crude oil products being the NNPCL has watched without intervening to flood the country with petrol whereas street urchins, miscreants and thugs, were the only class of illegal black market traders who have continued to cash in on the scarcity of fuel in organised fuel dispensing stations to extort desperate motorists and other Nigerians searching frantically for fuel to be able to engage in their daily economic routines and to power their homes during the night times.

“It is beyond being described as despicable,  reprehensible,  atrocious and an act of collective punishment to Nigerians by NNPCL that government through the publicly owned NNPCL has failed for close to two weeks to supply fuel to Nigerians but at the same time Nigerians are subjected to several hours of waiting at the filling stations to fill up their car fuel tanks or even purchase essential fuel into their generators for use in their business and housing premises given that the National Grid of the Transmission Company of Nigeria kept collapsing on daily basis and failing to supply sustainable electricity power to Nigerians.

It would be recalled that media report said that Mr Olufemi Soneye, Chief Communications Officer, NNPCL, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the company currently has availability of products exceeding 1.5 billion litres, which can last for at least 30 days.

The NNPCL’s spokesperson stated also thus: “Unfortunately, we experienced a three-day disruption in distribution due to logistical issues, which has since been resolved. “However, as you know, overcoming such disruptions typically requires double the amount of time to return to normal operations,” he said.

He said, “Some folks are taking advantage of this situation to maximize profits.

Thankfully, product scarcity has been minimal lately, but these folks might be exploiting the situation for unwarranted gain. “The lines will be cleared out between today and tomorrow,” Soneye assured.

Similarly, Mr Hammed Fashola, the National Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (lPMAN), expressed hope that the queues in Lagos and Ogun would ease off this week, relying on the words of the NNPCL. Fashola, however, stated that the queues in Abuja might tarry a bit due to the distance to Lagos. “The information available to us from the NNPCL was that there was a logistics problem, and when that happens, it will disrupt the supply chain. “That might be a delay in the movement of ships from the mother vessel to the daughter vessel before it gets to the depot tanks. “Before we can correct that, surely it will take some days. I think by Tuesday or Wednesday, there will be more products available for lifting by marketers. “It might take time before it can ease off in Abuja, considering the distance to Lagos and the bad roads; Lagos might be calm this new week,” Fashola assured.

HURIWA said from credible reports, we have been told that hundreds of thousands of stranded motorists and commuters have expressed concern over frequent fuel scarcity in Abuja, and Lagos metropolis. This has resulted in a few commercial vehicles, which led to a hike in fares.

The situation within Lagos metropolis and also at the FCT showed that only a few filling stations were selling, with long queues in most parts.

Reacting, HURIWA said that the reason NNPCL treat Nigerians with absolute disrespect and crass disregard is because there is no effective oversight activities by the National Assembly with a leadership that is absolutely compromised and bought over by the President who ironically is the senior minister of Petroleum in Nigeria since this administration came on board.

“The NNPCL’S monopoly in the Petroleum sector of the economy has remained a pathetic show of shame and it is sad that even when the erstwhile NNPC witnessed a corporate  transmutation courtesy of the commercial baptism by the corporate affairs commission which now accredited it partly as a privately administered company, yet President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has on two occasions made appointments into the management of the so-called private company the NNPCL which has yet to overcome the bureaucratic inefficiencies of its old self which is why this current harsh fuel scarcity came and is still in existence without the NNPCL taking any concrete steps to check the impunity of some lawless Petroleum Marketers hoarding petrol products all across Nigeria with a view to forcing a price adjustment which is absolutely intolerable.

“It is pure wickedness that at a time of mass poverty with over 133 million multidimensionally poor households in Nigeria and with the active absence of the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and poverty alleviation, the federal government still allowed hoodlums to take over the selling of fuel to motorists. This is absolutely condemned.” The group added.

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