BY EMMA UNA
CALABAR— ECONOMIC activities in Calabar, Cross River State capital, and most parts of the state have been grounded, following the strike by Petrol Tanker Drivers’ Association, PTDA.
The strike, which started last week with a disagreement between Cross River State Government and PTDA over parking space, persisted through the weekend, leaving almost all the filling stations in Calabar without products.
Most vehicle owners are forced to patronise black market, where a litre goes for between N200 and N300. The situation had led to increase in transport fares in the city by 100 percent.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr. Fabian Okpa in a telephone chat, blamed the drivers for the hike in transport fares.
However, a member of PTDA, Mr. Musa Isah, said the new place provided by the government was too far from the loading depot, adding “we want a place close to the depot.
Okpa said: “The state government said they cannot be parking tankers indiscriminately. We got a park for them from where they can be called on for the loading of their products, in order to decongest the city and keep it green.
“The government has shown them a particular place, but later the place could not be given to them because it fell along the plan of government for something else. And government said look, we are going to give you another parcel of land.
“They refused and that was why they went on strike. But we are trying to settle the issue. We have had meetings with them and I am sure that soon, everything will be settled.’’