Categories: Local

Panic Buying In Kaduna As Long Fuel Queues Surface

A screengrab taken on May 16, 2021, shows some cars on a queue at a filling station in Kaduna State.

 

Long queues have surfaced at petrol stations in various parts of Kaduna State, especially in the metropolis and other surrounding towns.

Motorists besieged filling stations on Sunday in what can be described as panic buying of fuel ahead of the planned industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions in the state.

When Channels Television monitored the situation in the state capital, many petrol stations did not open for business on Sunday.

The few ones that opened, however, operated only one or two pumps – a situation that sent the residents into a panic mood.

While some motorists found it difficult to buy fuel into cars and jerrycans, many spent over four hours in queues at petrol stations without getting the product.

This led to a situation where some petrol stations and black marketers took advantage of motorists to exploit them, putting the petrol pump price at about N172 per litre.

Some of the residents have described the development as very worrisome, saying the situation would be worse on Monday when the labour unions shut down activities in the state.

This screengrab taken on May 16, 2021, shows some cars on a queue at a filling station in Kaduna State.

 

Following the lingering dispute between the state government and labour union, the NLC had directed a total withdrawal of services to Kaduna by workers for five days in the first instance, from Sunday.

In compliance with the directive, the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) asked its members in the state to down tools from the set date.

The union accused the state government of taking anti-labour actions, noting its decision to embark on a mass sack of teachers and other civil servants in the state.

It also alleged that the government has refused to implement the new minimum wage, as provided for in the new minimum wage law.

Although the state government has since refuted the claims by the labour union, it announced in April that it would right-size its public service.

 

The government explained that the decision was necessary to enable it to cope with fiscal challenges and preserve its ability to use its resources for the entire state.

It noted that verification of personnel data was being conducted to determine the specific number of political appointees and civil servants that will be affected.

The government had also denied the allegations of anti-labour activities, stressing that workers have been receiving the new minimum wage since 2019.

Akinola Ajibola

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