The National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) has announced the suspension of the proposed strike by its affiliate members, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
The strike, which would have commenced today, was called off due to the intervention of the Federal Government.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the South-West zonal chairman of NUPENG, Mr. Tayo Aboyeji, during an interview on Sunday in Lagos.
Aboyeji said that the suspension is to allow union representatives and that of government to address the knotty issues at stake.
He said, “The leadership of the union after a brief meeting with representatives of government decided to suspend the strike in the interest of the nation.
“The meeting with the government continues during the week with the assurance that the union’s grievances will be positively addressed.”
It would be recalled that on Saturday, NUPENG announced that tanker drivers would commence strike today over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.
Aboyeji had said the union lost many lives and property due to bad roads and frowned at situations where the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday called on Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to call off its planned strike today in the interest and welfare of Nigerians.
A statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, noted that the strike was about the condition of roads in various parts of Nigeria which are used for the distribution of goods and services including petroleum products.
According to the statement, though it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, any disruption in the distribution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will adversely affect the business of the NNPC and endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed for a long time now.
“In recognition of this, the NNPC wishes to assure the Petroleum Tanker Drivers that in addition to the ongoing efforts by other agencies of government, the NNPC has initiated a process that would provide a quick and effective solution to the roads network challenges as expressed by the PTD.
“Having recognised that the major reason slowing down the rehabilitation of the road networks in the country is the paucity of funds, the NNPC has expressed interest in investing in the reconstruction of select federal roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Task Credit Scheme.
“The thrust of the NNPC’s intervention is to make considerable funds available for the reconstruction of roads through its Future Tax Liability.
“NNPC as a responsible corporate entity recognises the legitimate concerns of the PTD; we, however, appeal to the leadership and members to reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.
“Accordingly, we urge PTD to immediately call off the strike notice and give the current efforts by government and its agencies a chance to solve the challenges in the interest of all.
“We also wish to strongly advise Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through this festive season and beyond.”