Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has advised Federal Government to start arresting any fuel tanker driver caught on highways or any Nigerian roads after 6pm, saying the Union had earlier made law to that effect but a large number of its members fail to abide by it.
NUPENG said the arrest and prosecution of erring tanker drivers and confiscation of such tankers would reduce incessant fuel tanker fire disaster on the highway as witnessed last week Thursday evening in Lagos State.
Speaking in Abeokuta on Sunday on the sidelines of handing over ceremony of the Independent Marketers branch of NUPENG, both zonal chairman and national auditor of Independent Marketers branch of NUPENG, Olayemi Abayomi and Thompson Ogbodo, respectively, said government should assist the Union to implement the law that outlawed haulage of fuel at night.
While speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Abayomi said the recent fire disaster at the Otedola link bridge in Lagos was unfortunate, but could be avoided if fuel tanker driver had abided by the rules and regulations of the Union, saying the government needed to have a close watch on the fuel tanker drivers as some of them drive while not in their right state of mind.
He said, “It is an unfortunate event that happened on Thursday night. What really happened was that, the tanker drivers had been given instruction from their Union that there shouldn’t be any movement after 6pm, but the tanker drivers failed to adhere to the instruction.
“Had it been after loading the truck the tanker parked, that accident might not have occurred, but it is a disaster, which can be caused by a human error.
“All tanker drivers should not travel at night, each time they load late they should wait till next day before they continue their journey. As a tanker driver it is dangerous to drive at night though there might be less traffic, I see no reason why the tanker drivers should work at night for their safety and the safety of the entire citizens.”
It also berated President Muhammad Buhari-led Federal Government, saying that the Union had not felt the impact of the government, explaining further that if President Buhari had done the needful, the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), which stood at N145 per litre would have been reduced.
Ogbodo said” presently, we have not seen the president or his minister doing the job the way it ought to have been done. But, I want to believe that, somehow he has tried but the price of petrol can still be reduced.”