Oil Workers Suspend Strike

…as Kachikwu assures of job security

… NNPC ‘releases 228 trucks to Abuja, environs to end fuel scarcity

The strike action embarked upon by the nation’s oil workers has been suspended following a meeting held between the union leaders and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu which lasted through Wednesday.

The workers had downed tools in protest of plans by the government to restructure the Corporation into seven new entities, saying they were not carried along in the process, even as they claimed that the development posed threats to their jobs.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in a statement yesterday, announced the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by members of the Corporation’s arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN).

The NNPC in the statement signed by its spokesman, Ohi Alegbe, explained that the strike action was called off after an extensive session presided over by Kachikwu with the leadership of the unions led by the National President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Francis Johnson, at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.

The Corporation informed that the “in-house unions reviewed their stance after a decision was reached to set up a committee with representatives from the unions and NNPC management to look into the new NNPC structure with a view to considering any suggested amendment where necessary.”

Meanwhile,  the NNPC also said yesterday said it dispatched about 228 truckloads of petroleum products to various locations in Abuja and environs in a spirited effort to end the fuel supply crisis triggered by last Wednesday’s strike by its workers.

The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, the marketing and distribution subsidiary of the corporation, said 52 trucks were distributed to Abuja, while stations around Suleja were allocated 23 trucks. About 30 trucks were distributed beyond Suleja.

PPMC spokesman, Israel Edjeren, said all the products were sourced from the corporation’s Suleja products storage depot as part of efforts by the PPMC to ensure adequate distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

“With the strike action by PENGASSAN and NUPENG called off, PPMC have stepped up efforts to fill the void in supply created by the impasse”, Mr. Edjeren said. “As at today, 228 trucks have been dispatched to Abuja and environs.”