Tanker drivers under the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) will on December 11 commence a nationwide strike over the bad state of roads in the country.

The body says the move became necessary as all pleas to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to ameliorate the situation fell on deaf ears.

Tayo Aboyeji, the south-west zonal chairman of NUPENG in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the deplorable state of federal roads nationwide has led to the group losing some of its members in fire incidents.

“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike, but we had to call it off because it will generally affect majority of Nigerians. But now, our hands are tied,” Mr Adoyeji said. “We are going on nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways.

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“When a truck loads petrol in Lagos, the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.

“All calls by the executive of petroleum unions have fallen on the deaf ears of the government as the highways continue to deteriorate nationwide.

“The list of the highway are endless and the tanker drivers have been going through harrowing situations while rendering selfless national service.

“The increased rate of fire incidents involving petroleum tankers with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and the general public is enough.

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“This is because of government failure to enforce installation of safety gadgets on tankers, which will protect the inflammatory contents of their trucks from spilling over in a situation of road accident.

“We see the failure of the government in this regard as the height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and the union cannot continue to hold its hands while our members are getting burnt everywhere and everyday.

“We know that the present administration would not do anything until we start the nationwide strike,” he added.

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