14 March 2014, Lagos – If the claim by Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, Association is anything to go by, there is likely to be another round of scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol, as most tankers are currently stranded in Lagos due to unavailability of the product in Apapa depots.
Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, South West Public Relations Officer of PTD, raised the alarm yesterday, while commenting on the influx of tankers along Oshodi‑Apapa Expressway, despite the presence of special taskforce comprising men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.
It will be recalled that PTD earlier said that it had commenced move to check further movement of tankers, especially from northern parts into Lagos for awhile as part of measure to reduce the traumatic traffic gridlock in Apapa axisAboyeji lamented that due to lack of the products at the depots in Apapa, tanker drivers, numbering over 800, had remained at a spot for about two days now, worsening the chaotic traffic situation in Apapa area and environs while more tankers were still heading for Lagos.
According to PTD’s spokesman, “The information reaching us is that there is no more products to dispense at the depots. The only depot still discharging is Capitol Oil which will soon be out of stock. This can lead to another scarcity of the product in the next few days if the product is not available soonest.
“Some of the tanker drivers are also on hunger strike as most of them who arrived about five days ago waiting to load had been out of cash to feed and are now begging for food in Lagos as they did not expect to spend up to two days.”
According to Aboyeji, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had not been truthful on the current fuel situation.
“NNPC has been issuing out tickets to dealers to come to Lagos to load even when they knew that there are no enough products to go round. Now, without any parking space provided, our members are stranded and will have to wait for the next consignment to arrive and load before going back to their various destinations.
“That is why you see the large number increasing by the day. If there are enough products to load, all these tankers you are seeing would have reduced drastically but Lagos is the only state discharging product as directed by NNPC.
“Like I said earlier, the on‑going construction of Oshodi-Apapa road by Julius Berger has compounded the traffic situation. We implore citizens to appeal to NNPC to do the needful and save the nation from unnecessary hardship.”
Aboyeji, however, told Vanguard that an emergency meeting had been summoned by the leadership of the union to quickly assess and address the situation before it gets out of hand.