The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has raised an alarm over increase in extortion of petroleum tanker drivers as well as container-laden truck drivers by officers of the Nigerian Navy, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Nigerian Police.
It was reported last week that a police man allegedly shot dead a tanker driver who had refused to pay N1000 bribe demanded by a police officer. Chairman of South West Zone of NUPENG, Tayo Boyeji however told Shipping Position Daily that the affected driver was not a tanker driver, but a container truck driver.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily, another member of the union at ASCON Oil, Comrade Owolabi Jimoh lamented that for a petroleum truck to move from Mile 2 to the tank farms at Coconut bus stop, the drivers part with as much as N20,000 on daily basis.
According to him, container truck drivers usually pay higher, the drivers according to him, pay between N80, 000 and N100, 000.
He said, “from the tanker they collect N20, 000 but from the container truck drivers they collect between N80, 000 and N100, 000, they collect this money for you to drive from Mile 2 to Coconut, the money is collected by the Navy, LASTMA and Police”
“For a container truck to move from Mile 2 to Tin Can port at weekend they collect N150, 000, this money is collected daily”, he alleged.
Comrade Owolabi Jimoh also confirmed that the driver that was shot by the police last week was not a tanker driver; he was a container truck driver.
When asked what steps the NUPENG has taken to address the extortion of its members, he said, “our union has warned us not to fight with them because they are bearing weapons and that we should give them whatever they want”.
Giving a breakdown of the extortion, he said: “On the bridge they collected N10, 000, under the bridge at Berger, we paid N2, 000, going forward you pay another N2, 000 and when you get to Capital Oil they collected N500, cumulatively it is about N20, 000”
“The extortion has even reduced now, before now, for a truck to get to the depot, we spend up to N32, 000 and N34, 000. The last time the soldiers shot somebody, there was crisis and this reduced the price”
“Most times at weekend is when they perpetuate most of these evil, if you don’t have the money, you cannot pass through Mile 2 to Coconut, they collect N150, 000 and it’s not negotiable”
“The police, LASTMA and the Navy are the major challenge we are facing on that road, if you refuse to give them money they will start shooting guns” he said
Meanwhile, Shipping Position Daily investigations last week has shown that there is availability of products at the various depots, thus giving hope of massive supply during the yuletide.
Most of the NNPC affiliated tank farms in Apapa are all having products to distribute. The price of diesel has also dropped down from its former price of N240 to N222 per litre. The PMS on the other hand is N134 per litre and it is available at most of the depots.