The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said that it had no objection to the use of railways to haulage petroleum products across the country.
South-West Chairman of the union, Tokunbo Korodo stated this in Lagos that it was a good development as long as Nigerians would not be deprived the right to get the products at the approved prices. He said: “We do not have any objection to any mode of distribution so far it will get to the masses at a reasonable price. Whether they use train or they use helicopter to distribute the products, we cannot kick against it because we know that there is no way a train can get to all the filling stations. They will still park somewhere and use our trucks to get the products to any retail outlets. Even, the locomotive driver that drive any train loaded with petroleum products to any destination will, automatically, become my member. We will create another branch that will be added to the existing one. There is no cause for alarm; we are losing nothing, so, it is a welcome development if that will be the best way.”
He, however, said the best and fastest way to distribute petroleum products is through the pipelines, but government is running away from it due to the activities of vandals. “It is sad that our security agencies cannot protect the pipelines. If the security agencies cannot protect our pipelines, then what is the fate of the ordinary Nigerian? We thank God that we have a government that wants to change things and we believe God will give them the wisdom to do it,” he added.
NUPENG had on June 1 asked the Federal Government to rehabilitate railways for petroleum haulage. The union said this in a statement signed by its President, Igwe Achese, adding that this would reduce the burden of traffic on the highways.
By Pita Ochai