The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over the gridlock being experienced by petroleum tankers and articulated vehicles as a result of the ongoing reconstruction on Apapa-Wharf road, Lagos.
Tokunbo Korodo, the south-west chairman of the union in an interview with NAN in Lagos on Thursday, noted that the gridlock may result in fuel scarcity.
According to Korodo, since the inauguration of reconstruction of the road, petroleum tanker drivers had been on cue, finding it difficult to gain access to the tank farms to get products.
He said that the tank farms within the Apapa Marine Bridge road received petroleum products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which was to be distributed by petroleum tankers to different parts of the country.
He however said that the reconstruction of the road would affect movement of articulated vehicles to the port, adding that it was also taking its toll on tanker drivers as they now find it difficult loading at tank farms in the area.
“The reconstruction work on Apapa Wharf Road will affect loading of our petroleum tankers at the depots,” Korodo said.
“Since the inauguration of reconstruction works, our tankers have queued up on the roads finding it difficult to gain access to tank farms.
“Even queuing of articulated vehicles, going to the port have blocked the access road and tankers have been on the same spot for three days now.
“We want to apply to NNPC to use its System 2B distribution channel to pump products to its depots in Mosinmi, Ejigbo, Ibadan, Ilorin and Ore so that most of the tankers will stop coming to Apapa to load.
“It is irrational now for tankers to come and load at Apapa tank farms because the access roads are blocked and traffic is the order of the day.”
Korodo called on NNPC to address the lingering issues before it degenerates into fuel scarcity, adding that the delay in getting petroleum products to filling stations would be seen as lack of products.
The federal government had on Saturday handed over the road to Dangote Industries Limited and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc for immediate reconstruction with a concrete overlay.
Dangote had said that the poor state of the road costs the economy N20bn daily.
“The economy loses more than N20 billion daily. It affects businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin, in Kano are operating at 40 per cent maximum capacity,” Dangote said.
“Today, there is no linkage road going from South West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, Lokoja and you have to go by that uncompleted road Obasanjo started 13 years ago.
“Both Dangote and Flour Mills are pumping in over N2.5 billion for the 2 kilometres double lane on each side making a total of 4 kilometres.”
Source: The Cable