The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), says the problem of traffic gridlock at Apapa in Lagos State will persist until the fuel scarcity is resolved.
The union attributed the traffic gridlock to the activities of pipeline vandals, which forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, depots to stop loading fuel.
The South-West chairman of NUPENG, Mr Tokunbo Korodo, who made this known on Thursday while speaking to journalists in Lagos, said that tanker drivers were now coming to private depots in Lagos to load fuel.
The NUPENG chair pointed out that the traffic gridlock would have not deteriorated to the current state had the NNPC been using the over 50 private depots in Lagos to distribute fuel, thereby, decongesting Apapa, which now has to receive petrol tankers from all over the country .
“At present NNPC is using only six private depots in Lagos to distribute the product and they are all in Apapa axis”, he said and gave the names of the depots.
“All these depots are in Apapa; petrol tankers are coming from all states of the federation to Apapa for loading.
“Presently, Apapa is the only solution to the country’s petroleum problem”, Korodo noted.
He added that “Until the scarcity is over, traffic gridlock is inevitable in Apapa roads”.
The NUPENG chair, however, said the leadership of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA, were working round the clock to ease the traffic gridlock in the Apapa axis.
Mr. Korodo also assured the Federal Government that the tanker drivers would ensure that the product was not diverted.
“The PTD will ensure that we work round the clock to get the products to their different locations on time. We are now appealing to NNPC to increase loading depots because drivers are spending close to a week before being loaded”, he stated.