Operators of tank farms in Lagos and owners of petroleum trucks have disagreed over the long queue of truck along the Apapa end of the Oshodi- Apapa expressway.
While the depot owners were accused of being responsible for the endless queue of trucks waiting for petroleum products, truck drivers and owners alleged that the depot owners collect money from buyers for non-existing products. The buyers in turn contract trucks which stay on the queue for the products.
Some transporters who spoke with Shipping Position Weekly alleged that some depot owners fuel this by attracting buyers with competitive prices compared to what other depot are offering and that after collecting the money from unsuspecting buyers, such funds are lodged in the banks to generate interests before supplying the products.
“After paying money for these products, it will take you another two or three weeks before you can get the product you paid for”, a transporter who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent, even as he added that it is the long wait that causes long queues. “These trucks have already paid and are only awaiting supply of products”, he added. The transporters identified the depots as Zenon Oil, Rahamaniyya and MRS.
But, a top management of Rahamaniyya oil and gas who commented on the issue denied the allegation saying that “some trucks do not have any business here, but they prefer to come out in search of prospective hire and they make use of the roads as a packing space in order to bargain with people coming to buy products here but do not have the trucks. We have our own internal holding bay which has one of the largest capacities in the whole state”.
Our source argued that instead of trading blames every time, certain issues which are responsible for long queue should be addressed, he said that some depot do not have a fast loading system and this is one of the factors that aggravates the problem.
He also said that scarcity of the products in some tank farms is one of the factors responsible, that a situation were there is no product in some depots can lead to long queue of trucks awaiting such products, saying that “when there is scarcity of products anywhere in the depot, everybody will like to load at the same time, no matter the system you adopt, they will like to struggle, Nigerians do not like to follow order, if you tell somebody to come for his loading turn tomorrow, he will like to come before the date and you can not load everybody at the same time”.