Tanker drivers continue operations as lockdown enters week 2
As the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria enters week two, petroleum tanker drivers have sustained the distribution of petroleum products across the country to ensure availability of products while the restriction lasts.
In a statement, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, commended the tanker drivers’ selfless service during the lockdown, adding that their sacrifice had ensured smooth distribution of petroleum products.
The corporation had earlier launched an appeal to law enforcement agencies across the country to allow tanker drivers free movement during the lockdown ordered in some parts of the country.
Spokesperson of NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said in a statement that the exemption granted by President Muhammadu Buhari to certain categories of essential workers covered the operations of petroleum products tanker drivers.
Obateru added that government was counting on the support of the law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure smooth distribution of petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the country during the period of the restriction.
While commending the tanker drivers for their sacrifice in ferrying petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the Country during the lockdown, NNPC said its retail outlets are wet with sufficient petroleum products, ready to serve the public.
The corporation quoted the Managing Director of its Retail Ltd., Mr. Billy Okoye, as saying that over 600 NNPC Retail Ltd’s filling stations, across the country, were to remain operational throughout the period of the lockdown to meet the energy needs of Nigerians.
Okoye maintained that the company’s retail outlets are stocked with sufficient petroleum products, with PPMC depots holding its products in various states of the federation, adding that NNPC Retail Ltd’s products are daily being trucked to stations strategically located across Nigeria, urging consumers not to engage in panic buying.
“Our major responsibility is to ensure that there is fuel supply in our stations. We have enough products at all our storage tanks and at our depots; we also have a large quantity of products in transit to our stations. Nigerians don’t need to panic,” he said.
He also thanked state governors for allowing petroleum tankers to crisscross their states despite the movement restriction order and commended the security agencies, Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and all other service providers in the downstream value chain for their support.
He further commended Nigerians for their understanding during this period, assuring that the NNPC Retail stations would remain open to avoid any shock in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the Country.