Fuel Crisis Looms as Tanker Drivers Commence Strike Monday
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says its Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) unit will commence strike action on Monday over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.
According to Mr Tayo Aboyeji, the South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, the union has lost many lives and properties due to bad roads, adding that all tanker drivers will withdraw their services nationwide.
“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect the majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied.
“We are going on nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways.
“When a truck loads petrol in Lagos, the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.
“All calls by the executive of petroleum unions have fallen on the deaf ears of the government as the highways continue to deteriorate nationwide.
“The list of the highways are endless and the tanker drivers have been going through harrowing situations while rendering selfless national service.
“The increased rate of fire incidences involving petroleum tankers with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and the general public is enough.
“This is because of government failure to enforce installation of safety gadgets on tankers.
“This will protect the inflammation contents of their trucks from spilling over in a situation of road accidents.
“We see the failure of the government in this regard as height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and union cannot continue to hold its hands while our members are getting burnt everywhere and every day,” he said in Lagos.
The zonal chairman further said the union was not happy with the unscrupulous abuse of tonnage.
“There are some trucks that carry 60,000 litres to 100,000 litres on the highway.
“This load has a negative effect and impact on the safety and control of drivers on the wheel as well as durability and sustainability of the highway.
“The unions do not want any truck to carry more than the approved capacity,” he said.
Mr Aboyeji said the union had given notice to the government to put all these in order to avert the nationwide strike on Monday.
“We know that the present administration would not do anything until we start the nationwide strike,” he said.