Lagos Government Pacifies Tanker Drivers, As Unions Shelve Strike

Ikenna Atanah

The Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), on Monday, August 10, reached an agreement with fuel tanker drivers to suspend their planned strike.

This decision was reached following a meeting between its leadership; as well as representatives of the state government.

A communique jointly signed by the Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources, Olalere Odusote; and also the Deputy National President of NUPENG, Solomon Kilanko, was issued at the end of the meeting.

The communique contains the seven agreements reached by the union and the government which led to the suspension of the industrial action of the tanker drivers in the state.

Some of the challenges faced by tanker drivers such as security agencies; ‘area boys’; ad-hoc levies; bad roads; overloading; the timing of movement; and coordination; formed the critical issues discussed at the meeting.

Both parties resolved that the state government would meet with the heads of all security agencies; and also secure their commitment to ensuring the free passage of petroleum products vehicles; given their importance to the economy.

The drivers appealed to the relevant government agencies to tackle the menace of ‘area boys’; and likewise establish a dedicated phone number within the next week; to ensure that petroleum products transporters have prompt access to security agencies.

The meeting resolved to investigate extra-ordinary levies by a particular local government; and ask local government authorities to only collect legally due levies.

On the issue of bad roads, the state government said it would continue to relate with all road users in the planning and execution of road works in the state.

NUPENG, on its part, promised to ensure all tankers were loaded within the capacities provided for in the regulation and communicated by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.

“Lagos State will, within the next one week, review the restriction of the timing of movement of the petroleum tankers; and advise a resolution to ease their access to the tank farms. Union also notes that the ongoing road works are a temporary inhibitor of movement.”

Also,

“Lagos State government will immediately set up a standing committee; to relate with the union on an ongoing basis to address any issues as they arise,” the statement reads.

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