By Victor Young
Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has called on state governments and security agencies to assist Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, achieve seamless fuel distribution across the country, as Nigeria struggles to contain the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, made the plea while flagging off the distribution of hand sanitisers and other safety wears to the 120 depots and 300 stopovers for tanker drivers nationwide.
Akporeha said the union had engaged some pharmaceutical companies to produce 1,000 10-litre jerry cans of sanitisers every week to be distributed to PTD members nationwide in the four operational zones of NUPENG.
According to him, the distribution was in fulfillment of the union’s earlier pledge to assist its members in the front line, especially at the fuel loading points to protect them against COVID-19 disease.
He said: “We have 154 petroleum loading depots across the country, but as we speak, we have 120 of the depots in operation.
“Besides that, PTD has about 300 places across the country that serve as their stopover points for resting and recreation; we will be distributing these items to all the places.
“Conservatively, we will be sending out about 1,000 of these items every week until the siege is over.”
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On fuel distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, Akporeha pleaded with “state government and security agents to cooperate with the union to ensure it is seamless across the country.
“The security agents must ensure that there are no touting and unethical practices at the depots and other loading points. We, once again, advise our members, who have no business at the depots and other loading points, to say at home.”
The President advised Petroleum Station Workers, PSW, “to ensure that no customer touches fuel pump nozzle to avoid unnecessary risk of exposure.”
On his part, NUPENG’s General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, among others, said: “We are going to provide further logistics and support to our members as we deemed necessary.
“Oil and gas workers need all your support at this period and we are doing this from the little saving we have.”