EDITORIAL: Why there was petrol (PMS) scarcity in Calabar

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Insights into why there has been scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS popularly called petrol in Calabar the Cross River state capital metropolis this last week is because of the face-off which existed between Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Cross River and Ikot Ansa community in Calabar Municipality.

The issues between NUPENG Cross River chapter and Ikot Ansa the host community bothered on the failure of NUPENG to pay a host community levies to Ikot Ansa for over three years contrary to the 3 years ago agreement that stipulated that this levies be remitted on a monthly basis.

At the time of entering this agreement with Ikot Ansa community three years ago, NUPENG had agreed that she would use her desk officer to collect the levies from the PMS/petrol tanker drivers and remit same on a monthly basis despite the fact that the community was more comfortable with using her indigenous desk officer to do the collection. A source on the part of the community who is conversant with the development but, not in an official position to speak on behalf of the community explained that NUPENG had not remitted the monies for the past 3 years.

Ikot Ansa upon approaching NUPENG in the state to enquire why she had not remitted the money as previously agreed, NUPENG reportedly choose to be dubious by asking which of the Ikot Ansa community would receive the money, reminiscent of the division of Ikot Ansa for administrative convenience into Esuk Utan and Ikot Ansa, feigning concern for division. This intrigue according to a community had continue for over three years.

Again, at the time NUPENG and Ikot Ansa entered an agreement for the community levy, the price of petroleum product was far less than what we have now being pegged at N230/litre. So, with the increment, Ikot Ansa asked NUPENG to increase the levy from N500 to N1,000. NUPENG declined.

It was at the point where Ikot Ansa community was no more ready to continue putting up with the evasive disposition and declination of NUPENG that she decided to stop the lifting of PMS at the depot in Esuk Utan –this was why the products was unavailable with owners of petrol filling stations selling only to black-marketers in the night. This did not only lead to unavailability of the products to the masses but the hiking of the price to N500 and/or N600 nay N900 per litre.

It was in the attempt to resolve the crisis between the both parties that on Friday, the office of Special Adviser on Petroleum Products to the Governor secured a meeting between NUPENG and Ikot Ansa community between 10PM and 4AM on Saturday. A memorandum of understanding was arrived at between parties and things is anticipated to return to normalcy on the argument that NUPENG does the needful.

So, as it stands, the decision to allow petroleum products be lifted from the depot is temporary on the strength that NUPENG acts in good faith. Again, it has been learnt that the negotiations between Ikot Ansa and NUPENG in Cross River as facilitated by the state government will continue Monday 28th November.


Efio-Ita Nyok



27th November 2022.




This story amongst others are reviewed on Sparkling 92.3FM http://mixlr.com/sparkling923fm–2 and FAD 93.1. Again, opinions expressed on NegroidHaven are exclusively the author’s not NH’s.