Mkpoikana Udoma 24 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has directed its members in the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch to suspend operation in Rivers State over the deplorable condition of major roads in the state.
Recall that PTD and NUPENG had since last month threatened to go on strike over the dilapidated state of Eleme-Indorama-Refinery-Onne axis of the EastWest Road as well as the Intels-Oyigbo axis of the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway.
The National Industrial Officer of NUPENG, Mr. Bassey Harry, said the union has directed all petroleum tanker drivers to withdraw their service with immediate effect.
Harry explained that all tanker drivers in Port Harcourt Refinery depot and other private depots in Rivers State would withdraw their service until the roads are fixed.
“Up till now, we have not heard anything from both the federal and state governments. So we have directed our members in PTD to shut down till the roads are fixed at least to a usable condition.
“No tanker should lift products until the roads from Eleme junction to Oyigbo and from Eleme Junction to Port Harcourt Refinery to Onne are fixed. Outside that no truck should lift any product. So we are directing all our members to immediately withdraw service.”
Also speaking, the Port Harcourt Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Mr. Charles Eleto, appealed to consumers of petroleum products in Rivers State and environs to bear with the union on its action.
Eleto, who is also the chairman of United Labour Congress in Rivers State, said the withdrawal of service will affect distribution of petroleum products and thereby causes scarcity of petroleum products.
“We are saying that the federal and the state government should come to the aide of petroleum tanker drivers, besides the road is not being used by tanker drivers alone. Companies, government officials and every other Nigerians ply the road, that road is so bad that a five minutes drive now take more than three hours.”