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Tanker drivers' boycott causes fuel scarcity in Abakaliki

Published by Tribune on Mon, 23 Jan 2012

Ebonyi State government has attributed the fuel scarcity in Abakaliki, the state capital, to the boycott of supply by the petroleum tanker drivers.It was learnt that the drivers were agitating for the replacement of a fuel truck burnt at the Ezillo point on the Abakaliki-Enugu highway on December 31, 2011 during the Ezza-Ezillo crisis in which several persons were killed.The Special Adviser to the governor on Petroleum Product, Pricing and Distribution, Mr Chidi Ejem, said in an interview with newsmen in Abakaliki.'The tanker drivers are insisting that the Ezza-Ezillo community would replace the burnt truck before they resume supply of fuel to the state.'However, government has intervened in the matter. We are pleading with the drivers to rescind their decision as no one could be held responsible for the truck set ablaze.'What happened on the highway that resulted in the burning of the truck is a mob action and the tanker drivers should see reasons with us and recommence supplies to Abakaliki.'Government is also dialoguing with the Independent Petrol Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to amicably resolve the issue and ameliorate the sufferings of the people,' he said.Meanwhile, government has threatened to arrest, seal and prosecute any filling station found selling petrol above the pump price of N97 per litre.Ejem said that such filling stations would be made to pay N300,000 fine to have their station re-opened for business.'A pump attendant at the Tycoon filling station Abakaliki was arrested and handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for violating the law.'The task force was busy monitoring filling stations who hoard fuel or who sell above the pump price in order to correct any anomally,' he said.
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