THE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has absolved its members, particularly, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, from any form of petroleum products adulteration, saying that “the authorities should be held responsible for the rot in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Lagos, NUPENG’s Lagos Zonal Chairman, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo, said that the menace of product adulteration is gradually taking its toll on the nation’s economy as vehicles; machines and equipment worth billions of Naira have been lost to this criminal act.
Korodo argued that if any of its members is found to be involved in any form of product adulteration, that person should be arrested and prosecuted, to serve as a deterrent to others who may have criminal motives.
“We do not encourage and we do not believe that tanker drivers would be involved in this criminal act. If the government says that there are black spots where this atrocity is being committed, we do not need to publicise it, let the law enforcement agents do their work and get these criminals apprehended, and when they see us come forward to get their release then they can brand us as the criminals behind the perpetrators of this criminal act,” he added.
He however blamed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who is empowered by law to checkmate the excesses of the some importers of petroleum products for the escalation of the crime, particularly among the tank farm operators, and owners of retail outlets who in a bid to maximise profit, allegedly take the products through different stages of adulteration.
He blamed the management of DPR for allowing its officials to hob nub with some of the operators who violate the rules and are left to go unpunished.
He said, “We have an equipment called thermometer used for density detection, before a truck is loaded, it is the duty of DPR to ensure that the products coming out of the depots passed the density test. But because of their romance and relationship with tank farm owners, they have jettisoned their primary assignment and they now passed the blame to tanker drivers and NUPENG members we will resist that.
“If we are empowered by law to carry out test on these products on our own before they are loaded into trucks, you will see that products adulteration will become a thing of the past,” he asserted.