Scarcity of petroleum products looms
across the country as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Workers threatens to embark on a nationwide strike with effect from
Wednesday when a 72-hour deadline issued to the Federal Government
The General Secretary of NUPENG, Mr.
Elijah Okougbo, said in a communiqué issued by the union in Abuja on
Sunday that the impending strike had to do with disagreement over loan
obtained by Jetty and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners Association of Nigeria
from some banks, to satisfy the demand for fuel importation.
It was learnt that NUPENG was demanding
the implementation of a section of an agreement reached with the Federal
Government to allow JEPTFON, a subsidiary association, to pay back the
loan in 15 years with three percent interest.
He said the Federal Government had ignored implementations of both demands contained in the agreement reached with the union.
The NUPENG general secretary said the
union was compelled to issue the ultimatum because the banks were
mounting serious pressure on JEPTFON to repay the loan in spite of the
agreement reached with the Federal Government.
Okougbo said NUPENG would not give any
further notice to the Federal Government before proceeding on the
nationwide industrial action.
He said member associations of the union
had been compelled to embark on a drastic reduction of their workforce
in the drive to repay the outstanding loan stressing that MRS, one of
its members sacked 100 workers because of the loan issue.
He said since the 72 -hour ultimatum was
issued to the Federal Government, the union had not received a response
from the government apart from the State Security Service which advised
them against it because of the prevailing security situation in the
He recalled that the union had made other efforts to call the attention of government agencies to their plight without success.
He said, letters written to the Office
of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Minister of
Labour and Productivity, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria
National Petroleum Corporation, the National Security Adviser, the
Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency
and other critical offices on January 10, 2012, did not yield any
He said, “If nothing is done to consider
the satisfactory implementation of the committee reports, we will have
no choice but to resume our suspended nationwide strike without further
notice in order to save the livelihood of our members as injury to one,
is injury to all.”