08 July 2013, Lagos – Stakeholders in the maritime sector are counting their losses as a result of the crippling effect of the three-day warning strike embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, NUPENG, which ended last week.
Aside the 100 per cent hike in fares, banks, tank farm operators and other stakeholders around the Apapa area of Lagos felt the effect of the strike. Commuters groaned as bus drivers charged N400 for Oshodi-Wharf as against N150 or N200 that is normally charged.
Petroleum marketers and tanker drivers were the worst hit as some of them had collected money from the bank but had no product to purchase or supply within the three days.
Activities at various tank farms in Apapa were halted due to the strike. Each of the tank farm, it was gathered, dispatches not less than 40 trucks of petroleum products daily and each of the loaded trucks costs about N4.5 million.
This means that each tank farm lost about N180 million and there are several tank farms for different petroleum products in Apapa.
An importer, Alhaji Saleh Saleh, said the daily loss in Apapa cannot be less than N2 billion because it is the commercial nerve centre for shipping business and petroleum supplies in the country.
The development further increased the long queues of tankers waiting to load products and this in turn worsened the traffic situation in Apapa.
A petroleum marketer, Mr. Olanife Adeoye, said the strike has had a disastrous effect on marketers whose money was tied down because their transactions were at the different stages of completion. He added that the banks also groaned because they could not get their commissions on transactions.
“The strike affected everybody, including the food sellers. They brought their food to Apapa ports but there was nobody to buy it. Apart from this, the marketers that are supposed to get their products were disappointed while those who ought to get commission on transactions could not. The banks were equally affected because nobody was going there to take money, as usual,” he explained.
NUPENG last Monday started a three-day warning strike to protest alleged inhuman treatment of its members by the management of Chevron, Agip and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC.
– The Nation.