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Petroleum Tanker Drivers Suspend Planned Nationwide Strike.

The National Union of Pe­troleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) has announced the suspension of the pro­posed strike by its affiliate members, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).

The strike, which would have commenced today, was called off due to the interven­tion of the Federal Govern­ment.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the South-West zonal chair­man of NUPENG, Mr. Tayo Aboyeji, during an interview on Sunday in Lagos.

Aboyeji said that the sus­pension is to allow union representatives and that of government to address the knotty issues at stake.

He said, “The leadership of the union after a brief meeting with representa­tives of 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.”

It would be recalled that on Saturday, NUPENG an­nounced that tanker drivers would commence strike to­day over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.

Aboyeji had said the union lost many lives and property due to bad roads and frowned at situations where the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads. ­

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corpo­ration (NNPC) on Sunday called on Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to call off its planned strike today in the interest and welfare of Ni­gerians.

A statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, the Cor­poration’s Group General Manager, Group Public Af­fairs Division, noted that the strike was about the condi­tion of roads in various parts of Nigeria which are used for the distribution of goods and services including petroleum products.

According to the state­ment, 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 the ongo­ing efforts by other agencies of government, the NNPC has initiated a process that would provide a quick and effective solution to the roads network challenges as expressed by the PTD.

“Having recognised that the major reason slowing down the rehabilitation of the road networks in the country is the paucity of funds, the NNPC has ex­pressed interest in investing 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.

“NNPC as a responsible corporate entity recognizes the legitimate concerns of the PTD; we, however, appeal to the leadership and members to reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.

“Accordingly, we urge PTD to immediately call off the strike notice and give the cur­rent efforts by government and its agencies a chance to solve the challenges in the interest of all.

“We also wish to strong­ly advise Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through this festive sea­son and beyond.”

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