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No going back on tanker drivers’ strike, says NUPENG

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Despite assurance from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has intervened to avert the strike action by the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) section of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the association insisted that there is no going back on their plans.

NUPENG’s national President, Igwe Achese, who released the communiqué in Lagos at the end of its Central Working Committee meeting held at the union’s secretariat in Yaba, said the strike would draw the attention of the Federal Government and other stakeholders to some unresolved issues bordering on the welfare of workers, such as bad roads, poor remuneration, insecurity and the alleged excesses of some security agencies.

Any strike action by the association may affect the free flow of petroleum products across the country, which would lead to increase in goods and services.However, there are indications that the strike action by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) may be suspended today as critical stakeholders meet in Abuja to reach an agreement.

The Group General Manager of the Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Ndu Nghamadu told The Guardian in Abuja last night that the Group Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru would lead government negotiation team with Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), NUPENG and members of the PTD in attendance.

Nghamadu explained that the meeting is scheduled for the NNPC headquarters at 3pm.He added: “As you are aware that the industrial disagreement is majorly with NARTO and not government per se, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru would lead a team to the negotiation that is slated for the NNPC Towers at 3pm. The Corporation aim is to promote industrial peace within the supply chain and we would do everything within our powers to achieve this aim.”

The South-West Chairman of NUPENG Lagos Council, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, yesterday told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that all the tanker drivers have abandoned their trucks in respect of the indefinite strike, which will begin today unless the Federal Government intervenes.

Korodo also said that more than 2,000 staff of Capital Oil and Gas Ltd., were on the line due to their closure by the Federal Government due to some issues between the company and NNPC.

He said that the union wanted the government to resolve the matter so that the company would be opened and the staff and tanker drivers would resume duty.
The chairman, however, said that the strike would not affect activities in filling stations, depots or refineries across the nation.


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