By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Petroleum Tanker Drivers Thursday, ordered their members to immediately stop the movement of petroleum products from Lagos to the northern part of the country till further notice.
The drivers under the auspices of Petroleum Tanker Drivers ( PTD) said: “Starting from tomorrow (Thursday, September 17), our members will not be lifting products from Lagos to the northern part of the country because the Niger State government has shut out heavy duty trucks including tankers from passing through the state.”
A statement by its National Chairman, Mr. Salimon Oladiti, explained that the action became necessary following the shutout of heavy trucks, including tankers from using all the link roads in Minna, the Niger State capital, by the state government effective Midnight September 15, 2020.
Oladiti said that the only alternative road is not motorable, adding that: “This is Bida-Agai-Lapai-Lambata road. In fact, this road is a death trap. When we got wind of the plan of the Niger State Government to shut the roads about weeks back, I spoke to the Minister of Works through one of his aides and he assured that the ministry would do palliative and remedial works on the road. Unfortunately, over two weeks after our discussion, nothing has been down on the roads.
“As leaders, we have to do the needful and protect the lives of our members from avoidable accident and attacks from hoodlums. So, starting from tomorrow September 17, 2020, our members will not be lifting products from Lagos to the northern part of the country. Until the federal government makes the alternative road motorable, our members will not resume lifting of products to the northern part of the country.”
The tanker drivers quoted a letter addressed to their Niger State chairman, from the Niger State Government through its Ministry of Transport dated September 9, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Abdullahi U. Imam, informing them of the state government’s decision to shut out all heavy truck vehicles from passing through the link and major roads in the state from Tuesday.
The letter reads: “You are aware of efforts of the Niger State Government to rehabilitate Minna-Bida road and major roads leading to Minna. These efforts have largely been frustrated because of the heavy presence of heavy trucks plying these roads.
“In view of the forgoing, we hereby notify you of government’s decision for a total shutdown of all linking roads to Minna to heavy trucks from 12 midnight of September 15, 2020. You will please bring this information to all your members in order to guide them to find alternative routes for their movements.
“Consequently, we have directed our members to stop lifting products from Lagos to the northern part of the country until further notice.