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Tanker drivers suspend proposed strike on conditions

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) through Petroleum Tanker Drivers has put on hold the proposed withdrawal of services to allow the Federal Government’s complete ongoing efforts to improve standards of road infrastructures across the country.

NUPENG said that the decision to suspend its industrial action was reached after thorough deliberation by its members where impacts of the strike on Nigeria’s economy were considered.

The petroleum workers stressed that the industrial action could commence anytime if the apex government failed to carry out the planned road rehabilitation across the country as promised.

The petroleum workers announced the suspension on Sunday, less than 12 hours before the strike commencement, through a statement jointly signed by NUPENG president, William Akporeha, and the association secretary, General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, ​made available to pressmen.

The development came about 24 hours after the union announced plans to embark on strike over the deplorable state of major roads across the country, saying it has lost many members and properties due to dilapidated roads.

The statement reads: “The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) Workers hereby announced the suspension of the intended withdrawal of the services of Petroleum Tanker Drivers earlier scheduled to commence midnight of Sunday, 10th October 2021 following the understanding reached with the Union by the management of NNPC at a meeting held in Ibadan, Oyo State, today, 10th October 2021 and the expected outcome of the follow-up meeting that is scheduled to hold on Tuesday, 12, October 2021 in Abuja as contained in the communique issued today.

“The suspension of our planned action is predicated on our belief that the understanding reached with the government today as well as at a meeting of Tuesday 12th, October 2021 will be fulfilled to the letters.

“We wish to clearly make it known to all well meaning Nigerians that have variously appealed to us on these issues that our plan was not intended to inflict further pains on Nigerians but to ensure observance of minimum safety on our highways for the good of lives and properties.

“We are well aware of the impacts our actions usually have on the people, businesses, and the nation at large but we cannot continue to watch as things continue to degenerate in our industry.

“In the light of the above, the Union will not hesitate to re-commence the action without any notice if the understanding reached in these two meetings are not fully implemented within the timeframe agreed.

“With this, our Petroleum Tanker Drivers are hereby directed to continue providing services for the efficient and effective distribution of Petroleum products to homes and workplaces across the country”.

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