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Strike: Fuel depots shut, FG meets NUPENG today



The nationwide strike called by the United Labour Congress of Nigeria commenced on Monday and led to the shutdown of fuel depots in Apapa , Lagos and other parts of the country , threatening the supply of petroleum products to filling stations.

One of our correspondents gathered that oil workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers were partaking in the strike .

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said, “ We got to our offices and we saw that they ( NUPENG members) were not working. ”

He said the shutdown of the depots would affect the supply of petroleum products once the stock in filling stations dried up .
“ We hope the Federal Government will call them and speak to them so that the problem can be resolved speedily , ” he added.

Adewole noted that prior to the commencement of the strike , some of the association ’ s members were not loading petroleum products because of the debts owed them by the government.

He said, “ So many of them have been driven out of business; we are hoping that the government will pay us so that we can start working. If there is no money to trade and the workers are not working, definitely they cannot be paid .

“ We will have to lay them off instead of retaining them and incur debts every month until the government pays us so that we can come back to business. ”

An official of an independent marketing company in Lagos stated that if the strike continued till Thursday, there would be scarcity of products as many filling stations would begin to run out of fuel stock.

“ No depot is working now . The ULC set up surveillance teams who are parading all the depots to see if anyone is working, ” he added.

The South -West Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said, “ We are part of the ULC and we are on strike since morning. There is no loading at depots nationwide . We voted the government into power and let us join hands together to talk to them when it is appropriate. ”

Meanwhile , the Federal Government has invited the executive of NUPENG workers to a conciliatory meeting , which is expected to hold today (Tuesday ).

According to a statement on Monday by the Deputy Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment , Samuel Olowookere , the meeting is at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment , Dr. Chris Ngige.

“ Towards apprehending the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the NUPENG workers , the minister has scheduled a crucial conciliatory meeting with the president and executive of NUPENG on Tuesday , ” the statement read in part.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation asked members of the public not to engage in panic buying of products, adding that it had more than 1 . 6 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit in stock, enough to last for 48 days.
It also said it had in stock sufficient quantities of Automotive Gas Oil or diesel, Dual Purpose Kerosene and Aviation Turbine Kerosene to serve the country .

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC , Mr . Ndu Ughamadu, said in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, “ The government is consulting the union and the NNPC is also consulting the union on the strike issue . ”

He added that the government was working hard to arrive at an amicable resolution of outstanding issues with the concerned industry unions.

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