By Uthman Salami
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged to commit funds into road reconstruction and rehabilitation in the country as part of efforts to ease difficulties in petroleum products haulage.
This is following a threat by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to embark on a nationwide strike action.
The Corporation appealed to the Union to shelve the action in the interest and welfare of the Nigerian people.
The strike is about the condition of roads in various parts of Nigeria which are used for the distribution of goods and services including petroleum products.
However, even though it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, any disruption in the distrubution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will adversely affect the business of the NNPC and endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed for a long time now.
The NNPC assured the drivers that in addition to the ongoing efforts by other agencies of government, the NNPC has initiated a process that will provide a quick and effective solution to the roads network challenges as expressed by the PTD.
Having recognised that the major reason slowing down the rehabilitation of the road networks in the country is the paucity of funds, the NNPC has expressed interest to invest in the reconstruction of select Federal roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Task Credit Scheme.
The thrust of the NNPC’s intervention is to make considerable funds available for the reconstruction of roads through it Future Tax Liability.
NNPC as a responsible corporate entity recognises the legitimate concerns of the PTD, we however appeal to the leadership and members to reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.
Accordingly, “We urge PTD to immediately call off the strike notice and give the current efforts by government and its agencies a chance to solve the challenges in the interest of all.
“We also wish to strongly advice Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through this festive seasond and beyond.” NNPC said in a statement.