Tanker drivers insist on grounding the economy
At last the planned nation-wide strive by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, an arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, on Monday has had its first impact on the oil sector.
The Federal Government had on Sunday persuaded leaders of the union to discourage them from carrying on with the plan, but failed.
Most motorists were seen filling up their tanks in readiness for the impact that the strike would lead to.
Chairman, NUPENG, South-West Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said: “The strike will hold on Monday. We have not received any positive response from the government.”
He said tanker drivers across the nation would boycott fuel depots to press home their demands, adding that several complaints regarding poor salaries, poor state of Nigerian roads, poor sleeping quarters for drivers and insecurity on the highways had not been addressed.
However, the NNPC leadership is to meet with the Petroleum Tankers Drivers and the National Association of Transport Owners today (Monday) in Abuja in a bid to prevent the nationwide strike called by the PTD.
The PTD had said its members would commence a nationwide strike today (Monday).
The President, NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, announced this in Lagos on Friday in a communiqué at the end of its Central Working Committee meeting held at the union’s secretariat.
The communiqué stated that the strike would draw the attention of the Federal Government and other stakeholders to some unresolved issues bordering on the welfare of workers, such as bad roads, poor remuneration, insecurity and the alleged excesses of some security agencies.
When contacted on Sunday to ascertain if it was doing anything to avert the strike, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the national oil firm’s boss had scheduled a meeting with officials of the PTD and NARTO for 3pm on Monday.
Ughamadu said, “We have been engaging them and we are scheduled to have a meeting with both sides at 3pm at the Towers (NNPC headquarters) tomorrow (Monday). Both sides are NARTO and the tanker drivers. You know the tanker drivers have grievances with their employers. Their employers are NARTO members.
“The grievances expressed by the tanker drivers have to do with their welfare and also they are talking of bad roads. But these issues have been on for a while, so we are meeting with them to iron out things.”