Fuel scarcity: Speed up work at Port Harcourt refineries, TUC tells FG 


The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Thursday blamed the inability of the federal government to speed up work at the Port Harcourt refineries for the current fuel scarcity witnessed in Abuja and some parts of the country.

Speaking after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, TUC president, Comrade Festus Osifo, asked the federal government to speed up work at the Port Harcourt refineries to save Nigerians from more hardship.

He said the contractors at the Port Harcourt refinery and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, had given assurances earlier in the year at an inspection of the refinery, that it would be running optimally by the first week of April 2024.

“During that inspection, the contractors and those that are employees of NNPC told us that refinery is going to come into fruition at the first week of April or thereabout.

“Today, we are approaching the end of April and production has not resumed in the old Port Harcourt refinery.

“We wish to  call on government to do everything within its antenna to ensure that the old Port Harcourt refinery starts production immediately. You could go outside today and you can see queues everywhere in FCT and in some other neighbouring states.

“But we firmly believe that if our refineries were working optimally today, such queues wouldn’t have been there.”

Osifo commended the initiatives put forward for oil and gas production but insisted on the need for the country to increase crude oil production in order to boost foreign exchange and stabilise the naira viz-a-viz the economy.

“Recently, the president signed an  executive order regarding some incentives for oil and gas production because today there is a reduction in investment in the oil and gas industry. If you could remember, in our last press briefing, we clearly stated that part of the reason we are having shortage of Fx today is because of our reduced crude oil production.

“If this country go back to the era, we were producing 2.2 to 2.5 million barrels of crude per day, the inflow of forex amidst the high cost of crude oil today in the international market will give us a lot of foreign exchange in our country and it will help us in stabilising the naira.

 “We are urging government to deepen the fiscal incentives because today crude oil is found literally everywhere in the world. Gone were those days when crude was just found in about four or five six countries in Africa. Today, crude is literally in almost every country in the world so we encourage the government to continuously move in this path.”