- The Nigerian office of the presidency has allayed fears of consumers in Nigeria as fuel shortages looms following the strike by tanker drivers over the weekend in the west African state.
Last Saturday, the tanker drivers suspended the loading of petroleum products in Lagos on vowed not to return to work unless their 50 trucks seized by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority were returned to them unconditionally.
President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has reportedly assured the nation that the country has enough supply to meet all the demands of consumers, saying shortages experienced in some other parts of the country are due to the strike of tankers.
The tresident’s media and publicity advisor Olusegun Adeniyi said Mr Yar'Adua had scheduled a meeting with the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, to resolve the crisis in the state.
However, the Lagos government has announced that it would not succumb to the tanker’s threats, demands and or any blackmail, thus deepening the looming crisis on Monday.
Local news reports said many commuters were stranded at bus stops on Monday and today as the fuel crisis entered its fourth day, while motorists searched endlessly for fuel with only a few petrol stations operational.
The Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Najeem Korodo has said that the tanker drivers would not resume their until the government had resolved the outstanding issues.
He added that the union would stick to its position on the matter and would not pay for the release of the seized tankers to the Lagos state government, calling on the federal government to intervene on the issue, or the crisis would continue until the impounded trucks have been released to them.
Since January this year, oil workers had on a number of occasions threatened to wage a strike against the federal government due to lack of protection for oil workers, a move that could further threaten the country’s biggest foreign revenue.
The unions accused the government of turning a blind eye to the worrying security situation in the region.
The unions had also early this year threatened to pull members out of the Niger Delta following an upsurge in kidnappings of oil workers, but later delayed taking action in view of the importance of the industry to the country's economy. Nigeria earns 90 percent of its export earnings from crude.
Nigerian officials have said a number of militant groups in the region claiming to be fighting for a fairer share of the region's oil wealth for local people, have resorted to abductions and are out to make money through ransom demands.
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