Fuel scarcity looms in Rivers, as long queues resurfaced across the state on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
It was gathered that the state residents couldn’t purchase petrol easily as they used to, following the withdrawal of services by petrol tanker drivers.
The tanker drivers were said to be protesting constant harassment by men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and other security personnel in Rivers State.
However, while most filling stations were not selling fuel yesterday, the few ones that sold increased their products’ prices by at least 31%. For instance, they sold the commodity between N250 per litre, and N280 per litre.
BizWatch Nigeria learnt that the development led to an increment in transport fares, as commuters paid N150 for a distance usually charged N100.
“I was shocked to buy fuel this morning at N280 because I wanted to travel with my family. It is difficult to know what this country is turning into,” a motorist who identified himself as Prince Chima was quoted as saying.
Lamenting the increment in transport fares, a student at the Rivers State University (RSU), Ibuchi stated: “I didn’t go to school on Tuesday. But today (Wednesday), I paid N200 instead of the usual N150 from Waterlines to my school. The driver said he bought fuel at a higher price.”
Petrol tanker drivers protest in Rivers
Members of the Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD), a branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), refused to load at the depot. This, they did in protest against incessant harassment by policemen and other security operatives.
Speaking on the development, the National Treasurer of NUPENG, Alex Agwangwor said petrol tanker drivers would continue the strike until the harassment challenge is properly addressed.
According to him, the harassment in most cases results into extortion.
“The challenge we have in the state now currently as a union is that tanker drivers, under the PTD branch of NUPENG, are being constantly harassed by security agents.
“In some cases, the tanker drivers are arrested on trump-up charges, and their products are forcefully taken from them.
“We have written to all the security agencies involved, including the Rivers State Government, but, honestly, we cannot continue to work to service the state when our members’ lives are in danger.
“Without this issue being addressed, I don’t think we will continue to load products in Rivers State,” the NUPENG treasurer said as he lamented the ordeals of the petrol tanker drivers in the state.