The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has cautioned petroleum tanker drivers to desist from parking their vehicles on roads leading to the nation’s seaports, even as it expressed solidarity with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in the call for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Nigerian roads.
President-General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju also warned the federal government to immediately commence full rehabilitation of the Tin-Can Island end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway before the end of the second quarter or risk grounding activities at the nation's ports.
Speaking with our correspondent last week, he disclosed that the union is in solidarity with the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on need for government to declare state of emergency on Nigerian roads especially trunk ‘A’ roads in the country.
"We are in line with NUPENG for government to declare a state of emergency on Nigerian roads but our position is different from theirs because they also contribute to the dilapidated state of the road by indiscriminate parking on the shoulder of the roads.
"They don't have right to park on the road even if government repairs the road and it's not been properly managed, the tanker drivers will park on it and will destroy the roads."
Adeyanju further stated that the intended strike to ground activities at the ports still subsist but was suspended after intervention by minister of Labour and Transportation.
"We only suspended our strike base on the intervention of the government especially the respectable minister of Labour, and transportation, Dr Chris Ngige and Chibuike Amaechi because of the respect we have for them but if they did not follow up with what the agreement says which was fixing the roads and making it motorable by second quarter of 2018 we will renew our ultimatum."
Adeyanju who expressed confidence in the federal government to fix the Tin-Can Island roads before the end of the second quarter said government, terminal operators and importers are losing a fortune to the bad state of the roads.
He also said investors and business owners have abandoned the area leading to job loss to maritime workers.
"The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said they are ready to take up the road and repair, but the ministry of Power Works and Housing said it is their baby and NPA hands down. Even though, When we issued an ultimatum, a committee was set up by same management of NPA, we all visited the bad roads to show that we are ready because we know what Nigerians are losing, NPA, terminal operators are losing lot because of this bad roads. A communiqué has been signed and we are standing by it, by June we will exit second quarter so we are waiting for them”.
"While Apapa is ongoing with lot of Improvement, there is still no improvement on the Tin-Can island axis. The government can perform magic in one month because our agreement is their but if by the end of June nothing concrete is done, we renew our ultimatum because in the agreement, government promised that something will be done but we are waiting for that thing to be done, " he said.