The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Tuesday said its members were not on strike as being widely-speculated.
NUPENG said it could be held responsible for the shortage of petroleum products currently being experienced in Abuja and Lagos.
The union in a statement issued by its Acting General Secretary, Mr. Isaac Aberare, said Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) were working but had no products to lift in some depots due to the refusal of some oil marketers to import fuel over non-payment of their subsidy claims.
The union, which maintained that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) alone cannot meet up with the huge demands of fuel importation in the country, called on the Federal Government to intervene on the lingering issues so that the shortage of petroleum products would not spread to other parts of the country.
It further advised government to put appropriate security arrangements in place to nib the activities of vandals of pipelines in the bud while calling on the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to release money to verify claims by marketers so that they can import fuel and meet the shortfall.
“NUPENG is not responsible for the growing queues in filling stations as it is being speculated. The union is not on strike and the petroleum tanker drivers are ever ready to lift products.
“This is to let the world know why the current shortage of petroleum products is being experienced. The Federal Government boasted a few days ago that it had stock that will last for 45 days. Our members are working but have no products to lift in some depots, which are empty, as a result of the non-refusal of some oil marketers to import fuel due to non-payment of their claims.
“NNPC alone cannot meet up with the huge demands of fuel importation in the country, coupled with the vandalisation of the corporation’s supply pipelines in Arepo village in Ogun State which pumps fuel from Lagos to Mosimi depot in Ogun State.”
The union advised the government to quickly repair the vandalised pipelines in Arepo, so that fuel supply can resume to Lagos, Ibadan and Ilorin axis.