A large number of tanker drivers on Monday, threatened to stop lifting petroleum products from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) if management does not to fix its deplorable parking space.
The drivers, who park their gas and oil tankers at the TOR tanker park did not load for hours even when some of their leaders informed them about the refinery’s preparations to work on the park.
According to them, the clayey park and passage to the loading gantry which is about two kilometers, had deep gullies with stones sticking out which became very slippery whenever it rained.
Chairman of the National Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, George Nyaunu, told the media that the nature of the park made it difficult for them to commute smoothly to the gantry, a situation he described as very risky.
Mr. Nyuanu explained that even though the tankers park and drove to the gantry empty, it could explode when the master pin detaches and caused it to topple over in the process of keeping sturdy on the slippery galley riddled park.
He noted that authorizes must not wait for such an incident to occur before responding to their needs, stressing that any explosion from a tanker due to the deplorable nature of the park could jeopardize the entire refinery.
He indicated that their action was not politically motivated therefore government should see it as an opportunity to fix the park for the general good instead of painting them in other party colours.
According to him, they had written several letters to management of TOR but were yet to get favourable response hence their action, adding that their last letter to TOR was on July 2, 2019 giving them “a seven day ultimatum to find amicable solution to the problem. Failure to adhere to this letter, the drivers will advise themselves”.
The Chairman of the Gas Tanker Drivers Union, Shafiu Mohammed, for his part, questioned why there were no sheds for waiting drivers adding that drivers did even have a place of convenience.
Mr. Mohammed added that it was disheartening for them to be treated without dignity as they had to hide in their tankers whenever it rained.
An officer of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), the mother union of the drivers, Moses Kwaku Otoo, appealed to management of TOR to urgently shape the park and provide the needed amenities to ensure the safety of drivers, trucks and the refinery.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kingsley Antwi-Boasiako, Public Affairs Manager of TOR, told the Ghana News Agency that his outfit shared the plight of the drivers and had been interacting with them on the best way to repair the park and the road.
Dr. Antwi-Boasiako added that TOR was committed to a safe and smooth transportation of petroleum products from the Refinery.
He indicated that they were currently mobilizing logistics including trucks and bulldozers to begin work on the park and the road leading to the gantry.