The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Thursday has begged Lagosians to bear with the ongoing gridlocks caused by petrol tanker drivers in Apapa axis, Lagos. Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union, told newsmen in Lagos that the severe traffic was not a fault of the union members.
“Most of the tankers responsible for the traffic jam came from the northern part of the country to load petroleum products in Lagos. It is unfortunate that the tankers came as planned but they brought traffic gridlock to the Apapa axis. They were programmed to get the products here (Lagos), but when they got here most of the depots owned by Independent marketers refused to load the tankers.”
“The Independent marketers are aggrieved they were not carried along with the major oil marketers on the recent subsidy payment by the Federal Government. Now that the tanker drivers are here, it is difficult to return to the north without the product because it will not make an economic sense. For them to go back to their stations (empty) is economic loss; so they will continue to wait till they get the products.”
“This is coupled with an early morning accident along Ikorodu Road. The union is working with the officials of Lagos State traffic unit to manage the situation,” he said.
He said the gridlock would reduce as soon as majority of the tankers load and leave Lagos. Korodo maintained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should decentralize the loading of petroleum products to reduce traffic gridlocks on Lagos roads.
He revealed that only three depots out of over 50 available currently had petroleum products, adding that this was mainly responsible for the traffic jam. He said that the three depots were Capital Oil and Gas Tank Farm, Ibeto Oil and Gas Tank farm and Integrated Oil and Gas Tank Farm, all in the Apapa area.