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NUPENG Threatens Dec 11 Strike Against Failed Roads


October 10, (THEWILL) – The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says its tanker drivers would commence a nationwide strike on December 11 in protest over the deplorable roads in the country.

The South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tayo Aboyeji, who disclosed this to journalists on Saturday in Lagos, said the union had lost many lives and properties due to bad roads.

THEWILL recalls that leaders of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), had on September 25, issued an October 8, 2021 deadline to the Federal Government to address these pending issues, failing which members would down tools and resume the nationwide strike earlier scheduled for March 27, 2021.

That action was shelved after assurances by the government that the issues would be addressed.

Aboyeji said all calls to the government concerning the situation had fallen on deaf ears, and as a result, tanker drivers from the union would withdraw their services nationwide.

He said: “This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect the majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied.

“We are going on nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways. When a truck loads petrol in Lagos, the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.

“All calls by the executive of petroleum unions have fallen on the deaf ears of the government as the highways continue to deteriorate nationwide.

“The list of the highways is endless and the tanker drivers have been going through the harrowing situations while rendering selfless national service.

“The increasing rate of fire incidents involving petroleum tankers with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and the general public is enough.

“This is because of the government’s failure to enforce installation of safety gadgets on tankers. This will protect the contents on their trucks from spilling over during road accidents.

“We see the failure of the government in this regard as height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and the union cannot continue to fold its hands while our members suffer everyday.”

The NUPENG Chairman said the union was not happy with the unscrupulous abuse of tonnage.

According to Aboyeji, “There are some trucks that carry 60,000 litres to 100,000 litres on the highway. This load has a negative effect and impact on the safety and control of drivers on the wheel as well as durability and sustainability of the highway. The unions do not want any truck to carry more than the approved capacity.”

He said the Union had given notice to the government in order to avert the nationwide strike on December 11.

“We know that the present administration would not do anything until we start the nationwide strike”, he added.