The National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday said that the planned strike by its affiliate members, petroleum tanker drivers (PTD), has been suspended.
The strike, which would have kicked off yesterday (Monday), was shelved because of the federal government’s intervention.
The South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, said in Lagos.
According to Aboyeji, the suspension is to allow the union’s representatives and those of government to address the knotty issues at stake.
“The leadership of the union after a brief meeting with representatives of the 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,” he said.
The federal government’s intervention includes pleas from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the tanker drivers to shelve the planned strike, assuring that it has initiated a process that will provide a quick and effective solution to the road network challenges in the country.
The corporation, in a statement yesterday, expressed interest to invest 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, having recognised that the major reason slowing down the rehabilitation of the road networks in the country is the paucity of funds, it said.
The state-owned oil company, which had earlier appealed to the petroleum tanker drivers (PTD) to shelve their strike, said its intervention to fix some roads in the country was in order to ease some of the challenges as expressed by the PTD.
“However, even 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 ongoing efforts by other agencies, the NNPC has initiated a process that will provide a quick and effective solution to the road network challenges as expressed by the PTD,” NNPC said.
Recall that NUPENG had said on Saturday that the tanker drivers would commence strike on Monday over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.
Aboyeji said the union has lost many lives and property due to bad roads.
“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect the majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied,” he said.