09 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has appealed to the National Assembly Members to allow national interest blossom as against parochial interest being dressed up in the name of national interest and allow the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to work and fix the roads.
This is just as it also called on the Minister to urgently put aside all distractions and focus on fixing at least on palliative level critical roads that connect all parts of this country.
The National Chairman of the PTD branch of NUPENG, Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, who made the appeal at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held in Kaduna yesterday said, the union is aware that the road network had suffered long years of neglect from previous regimes and called on government to adopt appropriate planning and strategic approaches to various interventions.
Oladiti lamented the unpleasant state of the nation’s highways which he said has continued to leave a sour taste in the mouth, particularly the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which connects the south-west with the entire country and serves as the major road for the movement of goods from the seaports in Lagos and haulage of petroleum products from the depots in Apapa to all outlets across the country.
He reiterated that certain roads need urgent and priority attention in view of their economic importance to the nation bearing in mind the current economic realities. “We want to send a note of warning to the Federal legislators to stop playing politics with the safety of lives on the Federal highways.
“The rainy season has exposed the very soft underbelly of our road networks and our members are the first line of casualties. It is really painful hearing tales of harrowing sufferings our members go through in their patriotic efforts to serve the nation.
“Yet the members of the National Assembly in their corruption infested chamber and the executive arm of government kept playing draught with the precious lives of these patriotic hard working Nigerians,” he stressed.
On the attitudes of its members on the highways, the PTD boss disclosed that no fewer than 4500 of its members have so far been trained on safety on the wheels and more to be trained anytime soon, stressing that training and retraining of its members are key to his leadership.
Meanwhile, he reiterated the ban on night journeys for any petroleum truck either with or without products, adding that the union will not take it lightly with any erring members.
“When we took over the leadership, we resolved that one major solution to the incessant road accidents involving petroleum tanker drivers is education /training /awareness on how to ensure safety on the wheels, hence we took the education, training and awareness campaign to the doorsteps of our members” he stated.
Comrade Oladiti who frowned at the activities of members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) whom he alleges harasses, intimidate and extort monies from its members which he said the union will not treat with levity, he also urged his members not to take laws into their hands by being law abiding, patriotic and desist from all forms of illegal dealings which the union will not tolerate.