Oil marketers have asked petroleum tanker drivers to temporarily suspend the movement of petrol, diesel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, among others, as a result of the #EndSARS protests in various locations nationwide.
It was also gathered that the decision to pause the movement of petroleum products was to avert any disaster that could arise from the vandalism of oil tankers by angry protesters.
Our correspondent observed more than eight petroleum tankers parked around the Kubwa end of the Zuba-Kubwa expressway in Abuja on Wednesday morning.
When contacted to know why the trucks decided to park along the road, the Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, said it was done in order to ensure safety.
He said, “We are not permanently suspending activities.
“However, why we restricted the movement of petroleum tankers is because the protesters are also vandalising our trucks. And you know how inflammable petroleum products are.”
Ukadike said oil marketers would not watch and allow their investments destroyed in the protests, adding that they (marketers) were doing all they could to salvage their businesses.
He said the tanker drivers were advised to look for safe locations and park, as many trucks had suffered various degrees of vandalism in the past few days of the protest.
He said “We will not allow our trucks to still be on the roads while there are protests in various locations across the country. This is why most of the truck drivers were asked to park for safety reasons.
“After the protesters have marched and passed the locations where these trucks are, then the tankers can continue their journeys to their destination filling stations to offload the products.”
He said the curfew imposed in many states did not affect tanker drivers and petroleum product marketers.
Ukadike said, “We are on essential duty and should be able to provide fuel for the generality of Nigerians. We are listed as workers on essential duties and the wheels of government must continue to run.
“You also know that the supply of petroleum products, if cut shut, will absolutely crumble the wheels of government and the economy in general. So for that reason, we won’t suspend operations.”
On whether the development would cause scarcity, Ukadike replied, “We don’t expect it to cause scarcity because we will continue to supply products.
“Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has almost five days of product sufficiency, especially Premium Motor Spirit and so I assure you that there will be no scarcity.”
The IPMAN official pleaded with #EndSARS protesters to refrain from vandalising oil tankers as this was very risky.