Nigeria: Panic buying, fuel scarcity looms as tanker drivers down tools
Following yesterdays order by Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) that all members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, in Lagos zone, should begin an indefinite strike today, residents in Lagos and many neighbouring states have started to engage in panic buying of fuel this Monday morning.
The tanker drivers and allied workers are protesting the take-over of access roads to tank farms and fuel depots by containerised trucks, among other grievances.
However, the fears of possible serious supply scarcity across the country are genuine because for past experiences once there is a disruption in the product supply chain in Lagos, it will always affect most parts of the country. The reason is that over 90 per cent of petroleum products come from Lagos.
Energy stations along Lagos Abeokuta Expressway, Agege, Ogba, Ojota, Apapa/ Oshodi Expressway, Ikeja, Surulere, and Western Avenue among other parts of Lagos state witnessed an onslaught of desperate motorists rushing to buy petrol to avoid being caught unprepared. Same is reported in Otta, Abeokuta and other towns outside Lagos.
However, there are reports of talks between the Union and the government to settle things amicably. Already, Lagos state government has donated a free park for tankers and lories in the state to facilitate the orderly evacuation of products.