The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have said that their members would not go on strike over the threat by depot owners to shut down their services over outstanding subsidy claims owed its members by the government.
The unions, in a joint statement by their presidents, Comrade Francis Johnson and Williams Akporeha, in Abuja at the weekend, said the unions had been assured by the Federal Government that the first part of the debt payment owed the marketers will be made by December 14.
“With this commitment and firm assurance from the government representatives, the leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN has resolved to hold down on taking any action on the issues to allow the government to fulfill its pledge.
“Our members should, therefore, remain calm and continue to provide their services as required always.”
The unions’ leaders assured their members and the public that the decision was based on upholding the overall interest of the nation, the industry as well as job security of its members.
They urged the public to refrain from panic buying or stockpiling of petroleum products.
Speaking to newsmen after meeting with officials of the NNPC as well as the oil marketers’ representatives, the workers said they had intervened in the crisis to protect the interest of its members, as well as that of the country.
The National President of Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) Comrade Salimon Oladiti, also said the union has not issued any threat of strike.
While expressing concern that if the subsidy debt issue was not resolved amicably, it might lead to the sack of its members by the oil marketers, Johnson however, cautioned its members against joining any strike action not called by the leadership of the unions.
”Our members should note that until they hear from the association and NUPENG, everybody should continue to do their work.
“If anybody goes against our directive, there are consequences; there are procedures for sanctions.”
Comrade Akporeha assured Nigerians that there would be an unhindered distribution of petroleum products during the yuletide, as all its members would not be embarking on any strike.
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