Fuel scarcity: Hope rises as minister, oil marketers meet

Posted by Transport & Business Express | 17 August 2012 | 3,497 times

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Hope of an early resolution of the quarrel that sparked the fuel crisis in Abuja has arisen following moves by the Federal Government to make peace with striking oil marketers.

The Nigerian capital city has been gripped by fuel scarcity since Wednesday – two days after the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) began a seven-day warning strike by suspending lifting of petroleum products to Abuja. The strike is part of efforts by oil marketing companies, depot and jetty owners under the umbrella of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) to get the Federal Government to pay their members all outstanding subsidy claims amounting to N200 billion.

Initially playing tough, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, denied the allegation and accused the marketers, some of whom were indicted by the fuel subsidy investigation committees, of blackmail.

The minister however bent over backwards yesterday evening to meet with representatives of the striking oil marketers in Abuja.

An official of the Ministry of Finance who spoke with Transport & Business Express said: “The negotiation is still at the preliminary stage. I will keep you posted.”

*Photo: Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Source: TBE

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