NUPENG, IPMAN suspend strike in C/River


Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have suspended their strike in Cross River.

The two bodies embarked on the strike on May 23.

The unions announced the suspension of the strike on Thursday in Calabar after a three-hour closed door meeting with the Cross River Government.

The National Treasurer of NUPENG, Canaan David-Otu, told reporters that the unions embarked on the strike because of the imposition of N12, 800 daily levy on each tanker loading petrol at depots in the state.

David-Otu said that during the meeting, the State Government assured that the levy would be discontinued.

“We embarked on strike because the state’s revenue department imposed a daily levy of N12, 800 for each tanker loading petrol at depots.

“We told the State Government’s representatives that we don’t have such money. Some tanker drivers earn N15, 000 as monthly salary; so you can see that it is impossible to pay that amount.

“The Federal Government is the one controlling the price of fuel in Nigeria. We told the State Government openly that we cannot pay that money.

“We have announced to all depots and filling stations to resume selling of products to consumers,’’ David-Otu stated.

The state’s Commissioner for Finance,  Asuquo Ekpeyong, who led government officials to the meeting, said the meeting was to reconcile parties with a view to ending the strike.

Ekpeyong blamed the strike on communication gap between relevant government agencies and the petroleum unions.

“They have agreed to suspend the strike at this very moment. They felt that the State Government did not give them adequate information and notice,’’ he said.

The Chairman of IPMAN in the state,  Lawrence Agim, thanked Gov. Ben Ayade for providing a conducive environment for petroleum marketers in the state to carry out their businesses.

“We have agreed that the strike should be suspended. We have taken out two weeks to help us sort out all issues concerning revenue collection from our members in the state.’’