Mkpoikana Udoma 28 June 2017, Sweetrude, Port Harcourt – The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and its Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch are insisting on government’s repair of bad roads in Rivers State before they would call off their ongoing strike.
NUPENG called out the tanker drivers on an indefinite strike last week after months of threatening to embark on an industrial action over the deplorable state of the Eleme-Indorama-Refinery-Onne axis of the EastWest Road as well as the Intels-Oyigbo axis of the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway.
They made the insistence during a meeting with Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, over the strike.
The National Industrial Officer of NUPENG, Mr. Bassey Harry, said the union directed all petroleum tanker drivers to withdraw their service with immediate effect, adding 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,” he said.
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 causing scarcity of products.
“We are saying that the federal and the state governments should come to the aid of petroleum tanker drivers. Besides, the road are not being used by tanker drivers alone. Companies, government officials and every other Nigerians ply the roads,” he stated.