Tanker drivers embark on strike over deplorable roads

Members of the Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union have commenced an indefinite sit-down strike action to back their demand for the government to fix the Tema Valco Roundabout to the Kpone trunk road.

The 7.2-kilometre stretch has deteriorated, with several ponds of collected rainwater in the middle of the road making it difficult for vehicles to ply, especially tankers and other long vehicles.

Even though the Ministry of Roads and Highways cut the sod for its reconstruction in August 2020, not much progress has been seen as its situation had rather worsened following scraping of the face and digging of some trenches on the side.

The road has several industries sited along it, including VALCO, ALUWORKS, OLAMS, Chase Petroleum, Tema Tank Farm, Quantum Oil, Sunon Asogli Power Plant, and several warehouses, among others.

Mr. George Nyahunor, the National Chairman of the Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, declared the strike action during a news conference and inspection of the deteriorated road.

Mr. Nyahunor said: “We are embarking on a sit-down strike, effective today, until the authorities concerned have done something about our plight; our road network from Valco roundabout to Kpone is horrible.”

He stated that the enclave housed all the depots where petroleum products are loaded to serve the needs of the country, adding that all the road networks they used to carry the products from Tema to Takoradi, Kumasi, and Buipe are all in bad shape.

He said they had complained many times to the government to no avail, hence their decision to embark on a sit-down strike to drum home their demands, stressing that they would not sit down till a disaster occurred before the government moved in to do something.

“We are sitting on a bomb; the products that we are carrying are bombs; all the depots are sited here, so should something happen, and we experience fire, it will be a disaster.

“Look at TOR, where the West Africa Gas Plant is; they are all some metres from each other; are they waiting for something to happen before they come to our aid? No, we can’t sit down and wait,” he lamented.

According to him, their expectation was that the revenue that the petroleum industry generated for the government should be enough incentive for their expectations and issues to be attended to swiftly.

He stated that the current state of the road was not only posing danger to tanker drivers as their consignments could easily topple over in their bid to meander the terrible road, but also led to high maintenance costs for their vehicles.

He disclosed that changing just one tyre on their vehicle cost between GH¢3,000.00 and GH¢5,000.00, a situation they could not avoid due to the road they ply on.

The Chairman cautioned the government not to wait for a by-election before attending to the needs of the people who voted them into power, indicating that issues that would help increase the country’s revenue generation must be handled with haste.

Source: GNA

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