NIGERIANS may be in for another round of scarcity of petroleum products in the New Year as members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of National Union of Petroleum and Engineering Gas Workers (NUPENG) have threatened to withdraw their services from January 15, 2020, should the Federal Government fail to clear Lagos roads of containers.
Speaking in Benin at the weekend at the end of the quarterly branch Executive meeting of Petroleum Tanker Drivers, the national chairman of the drivers, Comrade Salmom Akanni Oladiti insisted that the January 15 deadline arose as a result of the inability of the federal task force set up to decongest Lagos roads of trucks carrying containers.
Oladiti conceded that the task force may have tried it best to carry out its mandate but the problem of gridlocks on the roads, particularly at Coconut and Tin Can Island axes, persist, a situation which forces their members to always spend weeks before loading petroleum products from the Lagos Tank farm.
The chairman lamented that vandals have destroyed pipelines across the country which were meant to ensure free flow of petroleum products all over the country.
He said: “The founding fathers meant well by constructing over 5,000 km of pipelines. If successive governments since 1999 had paid attention to roads and vandalism, the situation of the facilities would not have degenerated to the current level.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his transformation agenda and the Federal Government for making petroleum products available across the country, just as he urged the government to speed up the current rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Benin-Warri and Benin-Auchi-Lokoja roads.
In an address, Oladiti said that the Apapa gridlock appeared to have overwhelmed the authorities and solution to the problem not in sight.
He, therefore, sympathized with the drivers over the hardship they were facing n a daily basis.
To check the activities of criminals from destroying the business and image and of Petroleum Tanker Drivers, the National Chairman announced that new identity cards and stickers would be designed for members.
In view of the security situation of the country, Oladiti advised the drivers to take extra caution and change their behaviour by shunning careless display of wealth, inappropriate public conduct, unguarded utterances and night journeys.
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