By Peter Uzoho
The Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association (PTDA) section of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has said its planned strike will begin today (Monday) as planned because the association could not reach any agreement with the Lagos State Government.
The National Chairman of PTDA, Mr. Salimonu Oladiti, confirmed this development in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, yesterday.
National President of the NUPENG, Mr. Williams Akporeha, and the General Secretary, Mr. Olawale Afolabi, had in a statement issued on Friday directed tanker drivers to begin the withdrawal of their services as from 12midnight of today.
But Oladiti said the issues which forced the drivers to plan to embark on an indefinite strike had not been addressed.
He noted that talks between officials of the Lagos State Government and petrol tanker drivers failed to achieve the desired result.
Oladiti said, “We don’t have much to say. If the issues of extortion and harassment of our members are addressed, we won’t go on strike but if the issues are not addressed, we will go on with it.
“We are not happy to disrupt fuel supply because we know the effect but we cannot continue to cope with the problems.
“Security agents and hoodlums are extorting our members and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management use taser on our drivers and this can kill.
“We have been trying to cope with this for a long time but it has got to a point that our members are accusing us of feeling unconcerned about their welfare. So, there is nothing we can do than to go ahead with the strike.
“We have been reporting to the government but nothing has come out of it. The state government called us to a meeting but nothing came out of the meeting. We are still waiting for them to call another meeting.
“We will still present our demands to them and if they are ready to address them and we see their commitment, we will not go ahead with the strike. But if they are not ready, then there is no going back on the strike.”