The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Eket Field office, Akwa Ibom has attributed the scarcity of petrol in the state to the strike by tanker drivers.
Mr Bassey Nkanga, the Controller of DPR in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River, stated this while speaking with newsmen in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Saturday.
He explained that the development followed a misunderstanding between the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state and the tankers drivers.
Nkanga said the tanker drivers had already protested over the arrest of one of their colleagues by NSCDC for alleged loading of adulterated products.
The controller, however, said that the DPR had been making effort to settle the crisis between both parties. “I wonder why the parties are not considering the plight of the people before taking any action,’’ he said.
According to Nkanga, the independent marketers are beginning to take advantage of the problem to make brisk business. He said that more than 200 trucks loaded with the product were parked along the road, but the drivers had refused to enter the city, thereby making life difficult for the people.
Also speaking, Mr Essien Esema, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Udom Emmanuel on Petroleum Matters, said the tanker drivers had no reason to embark on any form of strike over the matter.
Esema expressed displeasure with the development, saying that it was not proper for the people to hold the state to ransom at any slight provocation.
He appealed to the people to have a change of attitude for the interest of people of the public.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is the second time the NSCDC and tanker drivers are having issues. Following the incident, petrol now sells for N170 per litre in the area.
NAN checks also revealed that most of the filling stations don’t open to customers until late in the night to dispense their products.