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Fuel scarcity hits Abuja as petrol tanker drivers begin strike

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Fuel Subsidy: TUC makes key demands, FG reconvenes Tuesday to avert strike

Abuja residents are currently faced with fuel scarcity as petroleum tanker drivers threat to down tools took effect on Monday.

Long queues of motorists were seen at a few filling stations dispensing fuel.

Many filling stations are currently closed in the Federal Capital Territory.

Operators in the downstream oil sector confirmed that the development was due to the suspension of operations by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners in fulfilment of their threat to down tools beginning today, Monday.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited filling station on Arab Road in Kubwa, Abuja, was closed on Monday morning.

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The Conoil filling station along the Zuba-Kubwa expressway had long queues.

Due to the suspension of the transportation of petroleum products (fuel) by NARTO members, many other stations run by independent marketers closed their doors on Monday morning, creating very long lines at the NNPCL retail outlet in Abuja’s central business district.

The Federal Government had ordered oil marketers to negotiate with NARTO on Monday to avert the planned suspension of operations by its members with respect to the lifting of petroleum products (fuel) nationwide.

NUPENG-PTD Crisis: Petrol tanker drivers begin nationwide protest

The report stated that oil marketers and the executives of NARTO met about six times between Saturday and Sunday, following the declaration of the petroleum products’ transporters to halt operations.

It also stated that the Federal Government, through the downstream regulator and the petroleum ministry, would meet with NARTO members as well as other parties today (Monday) in Abuja to sort out the issues.

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Chronicle NG reported on Friday that Nigeria might witness another round of fuel scarcity as NARTO had vowed to stop lifting petroleum products beginning today (Monday) due to the high cost of operations.

NARTO members have repeatedly raised concern over the high cost of diesel required to power their trucks for the transportation of petroleum products across the country.

Oil marketers had told our correspondent on Thursday that diesel prices were between N1,250 to N1,400/litre depending on the area of purchase.

NARTO’s President, Yusuf Othman, said in a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday that the statement was an official announcement from the association’s headquarters that members of the group would park their trucks on Monday.

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“Why? It is because what we spend on operations is more than what we get in total, both in local and bridging,” he stated.

While the tanker operators insisted that the suspension of operations was still in force, it was, however, gathered on Monday that the meeting between them and the Federal Government was ongoing at the time of filing this report.

This, according to government sources, was aimed at halting the suspension of operations by NARTO to avert a nationwide scarcity of fuel.

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