The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has given the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to rehabilitate the bad roads across the country.
NUPENG also asked the government to immediately address the issue of multiple roadblocks and extortions from all security agents or the union might be forced to embark “on a serious industrial action to drive home our case.”
The National President, Prince Williams Akporeha, at the end of the union’s virtual National Executive Council meeting on Thursday, said, “We wish to urgently draw the attention of the Federal Government to the harrowing experiences of the owners of petroleum trucks in the country.
“The only means of moving petroleum products across the country is by roads, using the trucks. We can confidently tell you that this means of distribution is presently endangered and require urgent Federal Government stimulus intervention fund to prevent it from total collapse.”
According to him, most of the nation’s highways are becoming death traps for the union’s members, most especially Calabar-Itu-Uyo, Port-Harcourt-Aba, Mokwa-Jebba-Kaduna, Port-Harcourt-Owerri, Warri-Benin-Auchi-Okene-Lokoja stretch of the country.
He said, “We are shocked at the lackadaisical attitude of local, states and federal governments to the issues of addressing the degenerating state of Nigeria roads before the coming of the current raining season despite all our warnings for them to make necessary construction, repairs and maintenance of all our roads, which are now in a parlous state and becoming practically impassable.
“The issue of bad roads is further compounded by the various security agencies who now set up multiple checkpoints on these deplorable roads to further exploit and extort money from motorists. Petroleum tanker drivers are the worst hit by the exploitative tendencies of these unscrupulous security agencies.
“The brazen extortion of our members, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic was really disconcerting and unfortunate.”
The union said it could no longer continue to fold its hands and watch its members, who toil day and night, to keep suffering on the bad roads and in the hands of security agents.
Source: Punch July 3 2020