Fuel scarcity may worsen as tanker Drivers threaten strike
There were insinuations on Thursday that the ongoing fuel scarcity may linger longer than expected following the decision of petroleum tanker drivers to embark on an industrial action.
According to reports, the oil tanker drivers are worried over the poor state of roads in the country and believe that a nationwide strike will force the government to find lasting solutions to the deplorable state of Nigerian roads.
The oil tanker drivers alleged that some people were already pilfering the N621billion Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme meant for the rehabilitation of 21 critical roads across the country.
Their National Chairman, Comrade Salmon Akanni, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, vowed that members of his association would proceed on strike at a very short notice if the government does not put the roads in order very soon.
He recalled that the end of the quarterly Branch Executive Council meeting of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers at PTD House, Emene, Enugu on the 25th of September 2021, the Union issued a firm and decisive ultimatum on the deplorable state of the federal highways and the painful experiences of members while carrying out their duties across the country.
He added that to avert industrial action of the Union, the management of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation apprehended the situation by calling the leadership of the Union for two separate meetings the 10th of October 2021 in Ibadan and 12th October 2021 in Abuja.
The PTD boss said “These two meetings resulted into signing of a communique indicating the readiness and willingness of NNPC to finance the rehabilitation of identified 21 critical roads at an estimated sum of N621 Billion through Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
“On the basis of this communique, we suspended the intended industrial action but with a very clear warning that should the spirit and letter of the agreement not fully implemented with focus on those jointly identified critical roads, the Union will not hesitate to resume the intended actions without further warning.”
According to him, there may be no further consultation with the Federal Government before the association down tools.
On the N621billion, he said: “To the delight of all of us, the issued was tabled before the Federal Executive Council and was expressly approved within two weeks as agreed.
“Unfortunately, and to our greatest shocks, we heard it from very reliable sources that some vultures in the garbs of being State governments, Officials of Ministry of Works and Housing and politicians are already depleting these funds and misappropriating them on roads and projects not intended in the agreement as approved by the Federal Executive Council.
“This is an open day robbery but we are assuring all and sundry that our union will go to all lengths to expose these unscrupulous individuals.
“Every kobo of the approved fund must be accounted for and we must see and broadcast the pre and post rehabilitation of all the identified 21 federal roads to the whole nation. tax payers’ money must be accounted for.”