Thursday, October 28

Nigerian Fuel Tanker Drives Urged to Call Off Monday Strike

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By William Clowes

(Bloomberg) —

Nigeria’s state-owned energy company urged fuel tanker drivers to call off plans to strike on Monday over the dangerous condition of the country’s roads.

“Disruption in the distribution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will adversely affect” the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and “endanger energy security,” the firm said in a statement Sunday. NNPC could start investing in the reconstruction of the West African nation’s dilapidated road network, it said.

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers said its members that drive fuel tankers will begin a nationwide strike from Monday “because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways,” a spokesman for the labor organization told the News Agency of Nigeria on Oct . 9.

NNPC is currently the sole importer of gasoline into Nigeria, which it sells to wholesalers and retailers. Due to the “paucity of funds” holding back the government’s efforts to rehabilitate the country’s roads, the company “has expressed interest” in offering financial support, the statement said.

While recognizing “legitimate concerns” of the drivers, NNPC encourages them to “reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.”

A lack of oil tanker drivers in the UK caused panic buying by consumers in late September, which eventually led the government to call on army drivers to help re-stock filling stations.

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