Even as motorists who ply the ever-busy Apapa Oshodi expressway lament the indiscriminate parking of trucks on the highway around the Ibafon and Ibru petroleum products jetties in Apapa, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has disclosed that trucks are parked on the highways deliberately.
The petroleum products tankers usually cause vehicular delay on this road as they queue to load products from the many tank farms, but NUPENG which is the mother body for the petroleum tanker drivers’ branch told Shipping Position Weekly that the act of indiscriminate parking was aimed at forcing the Lagos state government to pay attention to the drivers.
Speaking to our correspondent, the NUPENG’s zonal secretary, Mr Tokunbo Korodo explained that “the idea of our members packing on the service lane at Apapa was deliberate; we do this in order to draw the attention of the government to the issue”.
Korodo however lamented that in giving approval of tank farms operations in Lagos, no provision was made for parking space for trucks that will be coming to load products at the terminals.
He blamed the owners of the numerous tank farms for using up all the spaces given to them by the federal government without making provision for truck terminals.
“Both the government and the tank farms owners should have thought about creating space for trucks operations, it is because of this that we are having problems at the tank farms and they will blame it on tanker drivers”
He also blamed the springing up of tank farms in Lagos on the failure on the part of the government to maintain the petroleum infrastructures; especially pipeline network in the country.
Apparently reacting to our last week story in which some owners of tank farms justified their appearance on the petroleum products importation and distribution chain, the NUPENG scribe told our correspondent that government had abdicated its responsibilities for tank farm owners saying that the pipelines were left unprotected for a long time.
Korodo told Shipping Position Weekly that the products could not reach most parts of the country through the facilities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a development which has given rise to the emergence of tank farms.
According to him, the pipelines were vandalised owing largely to lack of security and that there would have been no need for tank farms if the pipelines were functioning.
He stated that the development has caused the country to depend largely on importation of petroleum products and thereby making the business attractive to tank farm owners, who according to him, are taking maximum advantage of the situation.
Corroboration Shipping Position Weekly’s last week findings, the NUPENG scribe disclosed that out of the 26 NNPC pipe lines, only four are currently working due to vandalism.