The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has said the withdrawal of service by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State as from Monday (tomorrow) will cause fuel scarcity in the entire South-West and beyond.
The Chairman of IPMAN, Ore Depot, Mr Shina Amoo, said this on Saturday in an interview with our correspondent in Ibadan.
Amoo urged the government to address the issue of extortion of tanker drivers which forced the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers to direct its members to begin an indefinite strike from Monday.
He said the South-West would be thrown into a crisis situation if the drivers refused to load fuel for a day.
He stated, “The strike called by petroleum tanker drivers as from Monday in Lagos State will affect the supply of the products in the South-West and beyond.
“About 75 per cent of the products are loaded from Lagos and refusal to load for a day will cause a serious crisis in the whole region and beyond.
“When you see what security agents do to tanker drivers around the Kara Bridge shortly before Berger you will agree with me that the strike is justified. Security agents extort them and break the windscreen of any tanker who refuses to comply.”
The National President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, and the General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, on Friday directed tanker drivers to begin withdrawal of their services from Monday.
The union said it took the decision because of the failure of the Lagos State Government and Presidential Task Force on Decongestion of Apapa to address the three major issues causing the drivers’ pains.
The statement reads, “The entire rank and file members of the union are deeply pained, frustrated and agonised by the barrage of these challenges being consistently faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State.
“We are left with no other option but to direct the withdrawal of their services in Lagos State until the Lagos State Government and other relevant stakeholders address these critical challenges.
“It is sad and disheartening to note here that we made several appeals and reports to the Lagos State Government and the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa on these challenges but all to no avail.”