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Possible shortage of fuel looms following the announcement of a strike by petroleum tanker drivers.

Petrol tanker drivers across the country are laying down their tools in protest over delays in the approval of a framework that will guide the conditions of service of drivers and mates.

Since 2017, when the president engaged operators on best way to improve working conditions, a proposed framework aimed at bettering the lives of operators has not been followed through.

After series of threats of strike actions, the issue came up again in 2023 where the Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the CEO of NPA, Dr. Mustapha Hamid as part of their efforts to resolve the matter, constituted a multi stakeholder committee. The committee comprised representatives from the ministries of Energy and Labour and Employment, TUC, BOST, NPA and oil marketing companies.

The committee was tasked with the formulation of a comprehensive conditions of service framework which garnered unanimous endorsement from all members of the committee and its report presented to the NPA for immediate implementation in November 2023.

This initiative brought palpable relief and optimism among members, who could now envision improved conditions of service and source of livelihood for their families.

Following the directives from employers and in furtherance of the implementation of the proposed framework, members immediately opened bank accounts with commercial banks including consolidated Bank Ghana (C.B.G) and Zenith Bank.

However, despite the concerted efforts and patience of our members, the implementation hit a snag with assumption of office of the new Board.

The new leadership of the association stated at a meeting that their representative on the committee did not have authority to agree with the conditions of service framework, a position we find untenable. This move by AOMC came as a surprise to members and other stakeholders.

It is in light of this that the leadership of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union held a press conference to announce their next line of action. Effective today, May 21, all tanker drivers across the country have laid down their tools in protest of what they describe as delay in the approval of the drivers and mates’ conditions of service framework.

National President of the Union, George Nyaunu, in his submission bemoaned the lack of attention given to tanker drivers even though the nature of their jobs put their lives at risk.

“We transport hazardous material with our lives on the line, but we are paid on tabletop. During Covid-19, the President tagged as essential workers. Till today, the quota that was allocated to us for rendering essential services during the pandemic has not gotten to us. We will ensure our lives are improved even if it will take 20 years, he emphasized.

He touched on the bad roads within the Tema heavy industrial area which is still in its worse state after the roads minister assurance of getting it fixed in 3 months.

In ensuing days, if you are unable to get fuel to buy when you visit any fuel outlet, this is what has accounted for that, but we wait to see whether or not government will be swift with its intervention to forestall the imminent shortage.

By George Kwaning