Capital Oil Boss Arrest: Tanker Drivers Deny Wrongdoing

Following the arrest of Capital Oil and Gas boss; Mr Ifeanyi Ubah by the Department of State Services, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has debunked allegations that its members were incited by the oil magnate to stop the lifting of products.The union has however assured that it is not perturbed by lack of activities at the Capital Oil tank farms, occasioned by the arrest of its chief executive by the DSS over alleged theft of petrol  worth N11 billion kept by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in his tank farm.Speaking with Shipping Position Daily at the weekend, Publicity Secretary of the Lagos Zonal Council of the PTD, Mr. Tayo Boyeji confirmed that the prosecution of Ubah has crippled all loading activities at the tank farm, thereby throwing its tanker drivers unit into joblessness. He however said that the union is not perturbed by the situation, even as he assured that its members would also look for other means of survival.On the allegation by the DSS that the Capital Oil boss was inciting the union to embark on strike, he said "our union leaders have since debunked these allegations which are unfounded, the NNPC can afford to allege what they feel, it is just their imagination and it is not true, Ifeanyi Uba has never sat down with the union at anytime to discuss such issues” “If the depot doesn't have product, we would go and load products from elsewhere. Also, our PTD unit attached to the depot cannot be idle because they are originally tanker drivers, all they need to do is pick up their trucks and start working elsewhere” Boyeji said.Also speaking with Shipping Position Daily at the Capital Oil tank farm, members of the union who pleaded anonymity lamented that commercial activities at the tank farm have been crippled. They said that the situation at the depot is now “no work, no pay”.A member of the union told our correspondent that over 2,000 workers of the company currently risk being thrown into the unemployment market.“Since the beginning of the case against Capital Oil, we have not been getting products. And now that he has been arrested, all operations have been crippled”“For all of us now, it is a case of “Go and Hustle” what some of us do now is to go to other depots and help customers to buy and load products. For those who have trucks, they resume to drive their trucks and use it to carry product to other places to survive” he saidThe Department of State Services has confirmed the arrest of Capital Oil boss, Ifeanyi Ubah on Friday, May 5, 2017.The DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo said Ubah was arrested in connection with the theft of petrol  worth N11 billion kept by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in his tank farm in Lagos.“In furtherance of his gimmicks to undermine the government and people of Nigeria, he has incited members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a critical player in the downstream sub-sector of the Petroleum Industry, to refuse/stop the lifting of products.“This is part of his plans to curry their sentiments and cause them to embark on strike and also stage protests in his favour with the ulterior motive of arm-twisting the NNPC to abandon the cause of recovering the stolen products. The implication of this on law and order is, in fact, a common knowledge. It is consequent upon this that the Service arrested and will prosecute him forthwith”Ubah has since described the allegation of theft against his company as mischievous and misleading.He said the NNPC also failed to tell the public that it also owed Capital Oil billions of Naira from their mutual business transactions. He highlighted the var¬ious transactions it had with the NNPC for which the corporation was yet to pay it N16 billion.“It is normal for parties in businesses to owe each other in business relationships and that if reconciliation is carried out with the NNPC, the firm will find out that there may be very little or nothing for Capital Oil to pay the corporation” he said.