Tony Osauzo, Benin
Scarcity of petroleum products looms as the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have threatened to withdraw their services if the Federal Government failed to clear Lagos roads of containers by January 15, 2020.
National Chairman of the PTD, Salmom Akanni Oladiti, issued the ultimatum at a press conference in Benin City at the end of the quarterly meeting of the union.
Oladiti lamented the gridlocks on Lagos roads, particularly at Coconut and Tin Can Island, saying it had brought excruciating pains on members who have to spend weeks before loading petroleum products from the Lagos Tank farm.
Oladiti said the Federal Task Force set up to decongest Lagos roads of trucks carrying containers had tried its best, but that the Apapa gridlock appeared to have overwhelmed the authorities with no solution in sight.
Oladiti, however, regretted the actives of vandals that destroyed the pipelines meant to ensure free flow of petroleum products all over the country.
“The founding fathers meant well by constructing over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines. If successive governments had paid attention to roads and vandalism, the facilities would not have degenerated to the current level,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making petroleum products available, just as he urged the government to speed up the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Benin-Warri and Benin-Auchi-Lokoja roads.
He said a new identity card and sticker would be designed for members to check the activities of criminals from destroying the image of genuine petroleum tanker drivers.