Bad roads, ineffective rail system responsible or fuel scarcity – PENGASSAN


President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Festus Osifo has said the prevailing scarcity of fuel products in parts of the country is due to bad roads and the ineffective railway system that dot the country.

Osifo who doubles as President of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, said for so long the government has continued to feign ignorance to these perennial challenges.

Saga Gist recalls that despite the hike in fuel prices, owing to the removal of subsidies, fuel queues have resurfaced in major cities prompting concerns from Nigerians.

Osifo while rationalizing the current situation, said until the government deploys technology in addressing them it will persist for a long time.

The PENGASSAN President said many truck drivers commuting fuel products from major oil depots find it difficult to convey their products because of the poor road network.

He said in more advanced climes fuel products are conveyed in rail lines with ease.

The TUC President warned that the problem will persist unless the Federal Government addresses the perennial problems associated with the oil and gas value chain in Nigeria.

Osifo spoke as Chief Host of the PENGASSAN Women Annual Convention in Abuja on Tuesday.

His words, “See we will continuously have perennial scarcity of fuel until we do what is right, which is to say there is no silver bullet today that is going to the scarcity of fuel that will come periodically.

“About a week ago, if you were driving between Aviele and Auchi you will realize that some people sleep on that road for days, the road is completely cut off, so if you are bringing fuel from Portharcourt and coming to Abuja, you need to pass through that road depending on where you are bringing the products from.

“So the roads as of today are very bad, if you check different parts of the world, how many countries are using tankers to supply PMS or AGO, it is not done, naturally what is done is the use of pipelines and some cases they use rails and if you go to some western world, you see rails that are having over 2000 tanks, railway lines whether it is rainy or dry season, it is okay.

“So until we imbibe technology and fix our pipelines and oil depots because that is also key, if the depots that we have in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria are all working we could have had reserve stocks in these depots, so that when our roads are bad, we can use those depots that are closer to the cities for supplies, then when the roads are good, you can restock them and go back to business as usual.

“We must be able to deepen the facilities of the oil and gas logistics because if we don’t do that, perennially we would have these challenges. Last year we had the whole of Lokoja cut off, so for tanks coming from Lagos, Calabar, Abeokuta, and Portharcourt where are they going to pass, it will be difficult so we must be able to sit down and define our distribution value chain in the oil and gas sector”.

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