Fuel Scarcity Looms As Oil, Maritime Workers Down Tools
There are strong indications that the nation might witness another round of scarcity of petroleum products as members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) announced an industrial action to protest extortion by security operatives in the state.
Members of the Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) also complained of miscreants on the roads leading to tank farms in Kirikiri and Satellite town in Lagos.
Equally, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) on Monday said its members would join NUPENG in withdrawing their services due to bad roads and extortions on the port access road.
Spokesman of AMATO, Mr Yinka Aroyewun, said their members will join the strike from Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. He said the decision was in solidarity with the petroleum tanker drivers group that had earlier announced service withdrawal from Monday.
Aroyewun said members of AMATO suffer an unfriendly work environment as a result of ill-treatment by security agencies.
NUPENG, two weeks ago called on the federal government and heads of security agencies in the state to warn their officials to desist from harassing and extorting petrol tanker drivers while on their way to lift petroleum products.
Following the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum, the union said that the planned strike by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos would start on Monday as its meeting with Lagos State Government ended in a deadlock.
NUPENG Public Relations Officer (PRO), Comrade Adamson Momoh, told our Correspondent on phone that the meeting between the State Government and NUPENG continued yesterday.
Our Correspondent observed yesterday that petrol tanker drivers refused to access tank farms and petrol depots along Satellite town axis.
Similarly, tanker drivers heading to depots at Kirikiri town parked their trucks by the side of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway, Lagos.
The South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, who also confirmed commencement of the strike action, said, “It is unfortunate that the strike might affect all other states in the federation because most of them load their petroleum products in Lagos depots.”
National President of NUPENG, Mr Williams Akporeha, last Friday directed tanker drivers to begin the withdrawal of their services from 12 midnight on Monday.
However, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, who had inspected roads and bridges under construction in Apapa area of Lagos last weekend, said the traffic gridlocks experienced in the axis would be cleared once the projects were completed by October.