Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, section of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has raised the alarm that the N621 billion provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for rehabilitation of 21 critical roads across the country has been hijacked by some governors and politicians.
The PTD National Chairman, Comrade Samon Akanni Oladiti, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that over three months after it reached an agreement with NNPC for the rehabilitation of the roads, no work has taken place.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, had in December last year, presented a symbolic N621 billion cheque to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to signify the commencement of the roads’ rehabilitation programme.
Oladiti, however, claimed that despite the transfer of the fund to the Ministry, no work had taken place, leaving PTD members in grave danger in the hands of bandits.
He pointed out that its threat to embark on strike action last year was averted after it signed an agreement with the NNPC and other agencies of the Federal Government that the roads would be fixed with the funds provided by the Corporation.
“Unfortunately, and to our greatest shocks, we heard it from very reliable sources that some vultures in the garbs of being State governments, Officials of Ministry of Works and Housing and Politicians are already depleting these funds and misappropriating them on roads and projects not intended in the agreement as approved by the Federal Executive Council.
“This is an open day robbery, but we are assuring all and sundry, that our Union will go to all lengths to expose these unscrupulous individuals.
“Every kobo of the approved fund must be accounted for and we must see and broadcast the pre and post rehabilitation of all the identified 21 federal roads to the whole nation.
“Tax payers’ money must be accounted for.
“We urge every patriotic Nigerians to rise up and join us in this struggle, this is not a fight for NUPENG alone, it is our collective fight.
“Our solidarity remains constant, for the Union makes us strong”, he added.
Oladiti lamented that its members were spending over three weeks on the road transporting petroleum products across the country, saying the situation has become unbearable.
He stressed that Federal Highways in Niger State, Sapele in Delta State and Okene-Auchi in Kogi and Edo state have become death traps for its members, calling for urgent action by the Federal Government.
Attempt to speak with the Special Adviser Communication to the Minister of Works and Housing was unsuccessful as he did not pick his calls.
Officials at the Ministry also declined to comment of the matter when contacted.