Fuel scarcity looms in Lagos because the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its tanker drivers to withdraw their services in Lagos beginning from Monday, August 10.
In a statement released on Friday, August 7, Williams Akporeha, the National President of the union, said the directive is as a results of the “failure of the state government to handle a number of its grievances”.
The statement partly reads
“The entire rank and file members of the union are deeply pained, frustrated and agonised by the barrage of those challenges being consistently faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State and are left with no other option but to direct the withdrawal of their services in Lagos State until the Lagos authorities and other relevant stakeholders address these critical challenges,” the statement read.
“It is sad and disheartening to notice here that we had made several appeals and reports to the Lagos authorities and therefore the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa on these challenges but all to no avail.
“We resolved to start an indefinite strike beginning from 12 am, Monday, August 10, 2020 if there aren’t any decisive and convincing actions from the Lagos government to deal with these concerns and challenges.”
The union listed its challenges to incorporate extortion by security agents, traffic gridlocks hindering the drivers’ movements yet as harassment by hoodlums across the state.
“It is basically disturbing and moreover inexplicable that security agents who are expected to confirm free-flow of traffic and protection of road users now use their uniforms and arms to intimidate, harass and extort money from Petroleum Tanker Drivers.
“This reprehensible conduct is taking serious tolls on the psychological, emotional, and financial state of Petroleum Tanker Drivers and their capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver services to the state.
“This menace must stop and also the leadership of those security operatives in Lagos State must go all resolute call their men to order with immediate effect. all of them should be content with their salaries and allowances instead of turning hapless Petroleum Tanker Drivers to money-making machines.
“Persistent traffic gridlock and indiscriminate parking of containerized trucks on major Lagos roads and bridges resulting in Apapa port, Kirikiri, Beach Land, Satellite Town, Ijegun, are another major setback bedeviling the sleek running of the operations of Petroleum Tanker Drivers in Lagos State.
“For safety reasons, Petroleum Tanker Drivers cannot still struggle with these containerized trucks in these corridors considering the inflammable nature of the products our members carry and that we cannot afford to undermine safety standards, procedures, and protocols within the course of our services.
“This may be a situation that appears to possess defied solution, considering the government’s non-intervention, lack of sensitivity over the years and collusion by those called upon by the Presidency to proffer solutions to the matter.
Consequently, as a socially responsible organization, we’ve made wide consultations with various leadership organs of our Union and with other key stakeholders within the oil and gas industry and thus resolved to commence an indefinite strike beginning from 12 am, Monday, August 10, 2020, if there are not any decisive and convincing actions from Lagos government to handle these concerns and challenges.”