PETROLEUM tanker drivers in Lagos State have commenced an indefinite strike today that could lead to significant petrol shortages across the country following the breakdown of negotiations between their union and the government.
Among the grievances of the drivers are the extortion of money by various security agents, the menace of containerised trucks at Apapa, Kirikiri, and Beach Land axis areas of the state and the harassment and extortion by area boys as well as area god-fathers. With the drivers unable to get guarantees on all these matters, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (Nupeng) declared a strike last Friday.
In Friday August 7, the Lagos State chapter of Nupeng told its members to commence industrial action today. Last night, there was a last ditch attempt to avert the strike but the union and the government could not reach an agreement.
Tayo Aboyeji, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of Nupeng, said: “Although, we met with the state government yesterday night, we could not reach an agreement. So, the tanker drivers in Lagos State proceeded with the strike, because the environment is not conducive for tankers to operate.”
Nupeng’s national president, Williams Akporeha, and its general secretary, Olawale Afolabi issued a joint statement, saying the directive became necessary due to failure of various authorities in the state to address some pending issues. On August 7, they had sent out a directive to all tanker drivers in Lagos State.