Beginning Thursday, the northern part of Nigeria may experience a crisis in the supply of fuel except a drastic measure is taken by the federal government to avert the situation.
This followed the order to tanker drivers to immediately stop the lifting of fuel and other petroleum products from Lagos to that part of the country following the road shutdown in Bida, Niger state.
Giving the directive in a statement Thursday in Abuja, National Chairman Petroleum Tanker Drivers, (PTD) Otunba Salimon Oladiti, said the action was due to the shut out of heavy trucks, including tankers from using all the link roads in Minna, Niger state capital by the state government, effective midnight September 15, 2020.
He said: “We want to use this medium to inform the general public that from tomorrow, (Thursday, September 17), our members will not be lifting products from Lagos to the northern part of the country because the Niger State government has shut out heavy duty trucks, including tankers from passing through the state.
“The only alternative road is not motor able. This is Bida- Agai- Lapai-Lambata road. In fact, this road is a death trap. When we got wind of the plan of the Niger State Government to shut the roads about weeks back, I spoke to the Minister of Works through one of his aides and he assured that the ministry would do palliative and remedial works on the road. Unfortunately, over two weeks after our discussion, nothing has been down on the roads.
“As leaders, we have to do the needful and protect the lives of our members from avoidable accident and attacks from hoodlums. So, starting from tomorrow September 17, 2020, our members will not be lifting products from Lagos to the Northern part of the country. Until the federal government makes the alternative road motorable, our members will not resume lifting of products to the northern part of the country.
“In the letter to our State Chairman, the Niger State Government through its Ministry of Transport dated September 9, 2020 by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Abdullahi U. Imam informed us about its decision to shut out all heavy trucks vehicles from passing through the link and major roads in the state from Tuesday.”
The statement also reeled out the content of the said letter which reads thus:
“You are aware of efforts of the Niger State Government to rehabilitate Minna-Bida road and major roads leading to Minna. These efforts have largely been frustrated because of the heavy presence of heavy trucks plying these roads.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby notify you of the government’s decision for a total shutdown of all linking roads to Minna to heavy trucks from 12 midnight of September 15, 2020. You will please bring this information to all your members in order to guide them to find alternative routes for their movements.”
“Consequently, we have directed our members to stop lifting products from Lagos to the northern part of the country until further notice,” the tanker drivers said.