Nigeria may soon run into shortage of premium motor spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol, as offloading and deployment of about 426,367 metric tonnes of the product already imported and consigned to Nigeria and awaiting berths at the ports, suffer setback.
The setback is occasioned by the ongoing nationwide strike by organised labour and the civil society against the removal of petrol subsidy by the federal government.
According to shipping position statistics of last week of December and the first week of January, released by the Nigeria Ports Authority, while 201,845MT of petrol is already awaiting berth, about 224,522MT of the product was expected to berth at the nation’s ports this week before the strike began on Monday. The implication of this is that even if the products arrive the country this week, workers may not be available to attend to the tankers.
Also, about 65,845MT of DPK (kerosene) and 35,850MT of diesel are also trapped in consignment and at the seaports.
The products are laden in 14 vessels and 15 tankers that had arrived since last week and are waiting for berthing space and Customs clearances.
Leaders of the maritime workers union had directed all dockworkers to stay-off the ports.
The president of NPA branch of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Leke Sanni, told newsmen that the ports cannot be working when the workers are on strike and all ports closed.
“All the ports in Lagos are closed, I am here to monitor compliance and I am happy with what I am seeing”, he said, adding that though the gates into the ports were not closed, operations will not begin until the industrial action comes to an end.
His counterpart in the dockworkers branch, Comrade Adeyanju also told LEADERSHIP that the ports were not working and that the union had directed all dockworkers to stay-off the ports.
The labour leaders also confirmed that because of the strike, no ship would be allowed to sail in or out of the ports, until the action was called off or suspended.