By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Maritime workers in Bayelsa State have faultedÂ Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC overÂ mega filling stations, saying the state deserved mega stations along its waterfront to attend toÂ the need of water transportation.
Bayelsa is predominantly riverine, with most of the communities far flung and also lacking floating stations, making marine transportation an expensive venture due to its high fuel consumption rate, coupled with the scarcity of the product in the hinterland.
Though the state district leadership of the Maritime Workers Union admitted that past administrations had tried at constructing a floating station at Nembe and Yenagoa areas of the state without success, he, however, noted that the building of a new mega station at Swali waterfront would help solve the abysmal distribution of petroleum products in the state.
Chairman of Bayelsa District, Maritime Workers Union, Chief Lloyd Sese, said in an interview in Yenagoa that the construction of the Swali mega station will also help ameliorate the suffering of maritime transporters and the teeming population of indigenes in the riverine enclave.
The parameters submitted before the management of the NNPC for the siting of several mega stations in the state capital, he noted, were wrong as the rate of population on land and along the sea is between 85 per cent and 15 per cent.
He added that the consumption of fuel by maritime sector was far greater than fuel used on land transportation.
â€œThe journey of one hour drive on land cost less than a journey of one hour on water transportation and marine transportation consumes more fuel than land transportation.
â€œMore fuel is consumed along the waterways and the more fuel consumed, the higher the fare charged. But with the siting of a mega station at the Swali Market, maritime workers will now buy at the pump price instead of black market rate,â€ he lamented.
Chief Sese called on the authorities of the NNPC to assist the maritime workers and marine transporters by reversing the trend and improve the standard of marine transportation in the state.
On the menace of pirates along the waterways, Sese explained that the years of peaceful resolutions of the issues by state and federal government have ensured the drastic reduction in the activities of pirates along Bayelsa waterways.
â€œThere have been no recent incidents of any attack along the creeks,â€ Chief Sese said.