Petroleum Tanker Drivers Call Off Strike

tankersThe Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers has called off its strike.

The strike action was meant to compel the federal government to repair some of the dilapidated roads in the South-South and South East zones of the country.

The tanker drivers had withdrawn their services from the roads in the zones, refusing to lift petroleum products, which resulted in fuel scarcity in the affected areas. But the body has now asked its members to resume work immediately.

Addressing a press conference at its national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, national chairman of the PTD, Comrade Salimon Oladiti, said the decision to suspend the strike action was taken following the intervention of some stakeholders in the industry who pleaded for more time so government can look into their grievances.

Oladiti said: “You will recall that we gave an ultimatum last month, warning of an impending strike action in parts of the South-South and South East.

“We had specifically called for urgent repairs of the Port Harcourt-Eleme Junction Road, Okigwe-Umuahia and Jebba-Ilorin roads.

“Expectedly, our members had on the expiration of the ultimatum boycotted these roads and refused to lift products on those axis and for the second week running now, the situation is becoming unbearable.

“Moreover, we had wanted to extend same action to other parts of the country.

“It is in this regards that we called this press conference to inform Nigerians that after due consideration and wider consultations, we have directed our members to resume work in the areas where we had earlier withdraw our services.

“The union agreed to respond to the clarion call made by the DSS and other stakeholders that we give the government more time to attend to these roads.

“We, like every other Nigerians, are mindful of the difficult times. We also fill the pain, if not more, and advise the federal government to send emissaries to verify the state of these roads and take palliative measures.

“The road from Jebba to Ilorin, which is a distance of about 100 kilometres, usually takes a whole day for our members to cover.

“Port Harcourt to Eleme Junction, which is a distance of five kilometers, takes over five hours, and the same thing goes for Okigwe-Umuahia Road.

“We have heed the call by the authorities concerned and granted more time as requested with the hope that government would fulfill its part of the promise by making these roads motorable while on our part, we shall continue to serve the nation better and more efficiently in the haulage sub-sector.

“We have warned that failure to fulfill this promise, we may not give any further notice of action”.