… As union trains tanker drivers
…You can’t expect a man who have not seem his family for days to drive gently –driver
Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had said the poor road network in the country was responsible for the repeated cases of tanker accidents experienced.
NUPENG also urged the Federal Government to ensure that its change agenda was reflected on the nation’s roads.
The union stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital during a training organized by its national body for tanker drivers in the zone, tagged, ‘Safe Driving, Accident Effects and Prevention’.
Speaking, the National President of NUPENG who doubles as the Deputy President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Comr. Achese Igwe, said most of tankers accidents were caused by the deplorable nature of roads in the country.
Igwe said that if roads were fixed the number of accidents recorded on daily basis would reduce drastically.
The union leader urged governments at all levels to take fixing of road as a major priority, adding that such would reduce road mishaps.
Igwe said: “The issue you are all aware we have had series of issue about accidents that involve our trucks. When such accidents occur sometimes the impact leads to loss of lives and property. So we decided to ask ourselves questions on what are the causes of these accidents. So we decided to have driving training for our drivers.
“The nature of our road is a real contributory factor to tanker accidents which we are experiencing. It is unfortunate that we are expecting change to have effect on our roads but that has not been realized and this over one year.
“But, we are still confident that change will come, but it should have impact on the road infrastructure. We are also happy that the budget has been approved; its implementation is what we are watching and how it is going to have impact on the roads which we use daily.”
Similarly, the National Chairman of Petroleum Tankers Drivers, Comr. Salimon Oladiti, disclosed that the training was targeted at changing the attitude of tanker drivers on the road.
Oladiti who spoke through Lucky Osesua who is the First National Deputy Chairman of PTD branch of NUPENG, stated that tankers drivers were reckless on wheel, noting that they were under intense pressure.
“The training of the tankers drivers is so much important it will help to change the attitude of our drivers on the usage of our roads. Those who have passed through it are all happy.
“Tanker drivers are not reckless while driving on the road as commonly believed by some persons. You cannot expect a man who has not been to his house for about two weeks and after loading and the roads are too bad and along the road and they come across obstacle on the road”.
Meanwhile, one of the tanker drivers who was also a participant in the training, Mr. Sunday Benjamin, thanking the national body of NUPENG for the training, stressing that it would impact positively to the drivers.
Benjamin noted that the drivers were been facing much challenges conveying petroleum products on the bad roads, adding that the roads were in bad shape.