by crossriverwatch admin
Economic Activities in Calabar the Cross River State capital and most parts of the state have grounded to a halt following the ongoing strike by the Petrol Tanker Drivers’ Association, PTDA.
The strike which started last week over disagreement between the Cross River State Government and the PTDA over a parcel of land at the 8 miles persisted through the week leaving almost all the filling stations in Calabar shut.
Most vehicle owners have been forced to buy from the black market with black marketers exploiting the situation to sell petrol at exorbitant prices.
Checks by CrossRiverWatch at various sales points revealed that a liter of petrol is being sold for between N300 and N350. The situation has led to increase in transport fares by motorists in the city by 100 per cent.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Mr Fabian Okpa in a telephone interview blamed the drivers for the situation.
Okpa said that the drivers have refused to relocate to the new land given to them by the State Government to park their tankers.
He said: “the issue is that the government said they cannot be parking tankers anyhow in the town rather let us get a park where they can park.
“When they are about to load they can call them to come and load their products, in other to decongest the city and keep it green.
“The government has shown them a particular place but later the place could not be given to them because it fell along the plan of government for something else.
“And government said look, we are going to give you another parcel of land, they refused and that is why they went on strike.
“But however, we are trying to settle the issue. We have had meetings with them and we are going to have another meeting later and I am sure that not too long everything will be settled.’’
He accused the drivers of capitalizing on any slightest disagreement with the government to go on strike and cause economic hardship to the people.
He urged labor to work in partnership with government in order to move the state forward.
A member of the PTDA, Mr Musa Isah said that the new place was too far from the loading depot.
“We want a place very close to the depot.” he said.
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