Panic buying, as tanker drivers begin strike

NIGERIANS, weekend, engaged in panic buying of fuel, as Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday ordered full compliance as members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, in Lagos zone, today down tools to begin an indefinite strike in Lagos area and its environs to protest take-over of access roads to tank farms and fuel depots by containerised trucks, among other grievances.

However, there are fears of possible supply scarcity across the country because once there is a disruption in the product supply chain in Lagos, it will affect most parts of the country.

This is because over 90 percent of petroleum products across country are sourced from Lagos.

According to information, the Federal Ministry of Works and Lagos State government were making arrangements to meet with leaders of NUPENG last night to avert the planned strike.

Recall that NUPENG had Friday directed its PTD branch in Lagos to begin an indefinite industrial action to  protest deplorable state of the access roads to fuel depots in Lagos, and extortion of tanker drivers by security operatives in Lagos and its environs, as well as alarming harassment and attacks of members by thugs (area boys) especially in some local governments.

Speaking with the Newsmen yesterday, President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, said the strike would go ahead as planned, saying “as I speak with you, no meeting has been held or called, and no official effort has been made to address our grievances. Therefore the strike will go ahead from Monday (today) as planned. We have ordered and directed full and total compliance by tanker drivers until further notice.”

Ahead of the strike, many motorists and other residents of Lagos and its environs were seen trooping to the filling stations to buy products especially petrol in what is seen as panic buying of products.

Many petrol stations along Ikorodo Road, Ojota, Apapa/ Oshodi Expressway, Ikeja, Lagos Abeokuta Expressway, Surulere, and Western Avenue among other parts of the state were yesterday besieged by desperate motorists rushing to buy petrol and avoid being caught unprepared.

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