Tanker Drivers Urge Depot Owners to Copy Dangote, Flour Mills, Fix Coconut Road

Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal (Left) in a discussion with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru. Hydrocarbon exploration in Sokoto State was top among their discussions.

The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called on tank farm owners and their operators to take a cue from two conglomerates; Dangote Group and Flour Mills Nigeria Limited and also join forces with the Federal Government to fix the dilapidate Coconut axis of Oshodi Apapa expressway.

Members of the union who spoke with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week noted that the tank farm owners are making billions of Naira from their operations within the axis, but they lag behind in area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially as far as the Apapa-Oshodi expressway is concerned. 

Speaking with Shipping Position Daily, one of the PTD executives at Ascon Oil, Comrade Odianosen Sunday said that the PTD union has displayed more responsibility and maturity than even the tank farm owners. 

 He said that the union on its own hired machines and workers to dig the drainage on the expressway which is blocked. He noted that this exercise costs the union N150, 000 daily; he disclosed that the machine has so far worked for one week. 

Our correspondent who visited the failed portion of the expressway from Capital Oil Depot to Coconut bus stop last week reported that the area which hitherto was flooded had been de-flooded. 

One of the union members at Ibeto Depot also confirmed to our correspondent anonymously that this took the effort of all the units of the PTD attached to petroleum tank farms along Ibafon jetty to provide the succour.  

The source noted that the union had contributed money to hire a machine to dig the drainage so as to dislodge the water. 

He explained that: “If you walk around now you will see that the gutter has been cleared through the effort of the union, the union on this axis came together and decided to levy themselves and hire the machine to dig the drainage, it was a dual purpose machine, if you go round now you will still find it there. This was what caused the water to reduce along this axis”

“It has deseeded the gutter from Coconut axis to Capital Oil, now the water has moved into the gutter. If there is no rainfall in the meantime and the seed brought out is able to cake, the machine is capable of taking it up into a waiting tipper for proper disposal. If this is done, further rains would no longer disturb our operations but the bad roads would do”  

“The first week of the operation has finished, maybe we would need to contribute more money to continue with the project, it is a self-help project. The machine is collecting N120,000 per day, you need to feed the operator and pay them their allowance” ,he added.

 “Drivers now spend five days to access between Mile 2 and Tin Can, after loading they still spend two days to get out because they would not want the content of their truck to spill, we even encourage them not to drive at night, so when they get out they park, this further delays the product from getting to their destination on time”. 

He noted that this is not the first time the union was taking such initiative, “we have done it severally where we even had to fill the road with hardcore, this time around we have done a palliative measure on the Capital Oil junction”

The source also said that the bad state of the roads to the depots was one of the things that made the union go on strike last week.  

 Meanwhile, another member of the union who identified himself as Comrade Prince Olukoya noted that tank farm operators cannot be compared to Dangote and Flour Mill. He argued that majority of the tank farms in Lagos have been leased out by the owner for marketers to store products and the gains are not so much for both party.

“I don’t know what their plan is, most of them are on lease with the Ibru who pays tax to the Federal Government, and the tank farms operators equally pay their tax to both federal and state government, so let government come and fix the road”,he argued.