Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) has suspended its nationwide strike following intervention by the Federal Government.
KanyiDaily had reported that the PTD branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had planned to embark on a nationwide strike from Monday over the deplorable conditions of federal roads across the country and two other pending issues.
The other grievances of the tanker drivers are perceived refusal of the federal government to enforce the compulsory installation of safety valve in all petroleum trucks to protect the inflammable contents from spilling over in a situation of road mishaps and alleged continued abuse of the tonnage capacity of Petroleum trucks by marketers and transporters across the country.
However, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, the South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tayo Aboyeji disclosed that the planned strike has been suspended to allow the union’s representatives and that of the 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 grievances will be positively addressed.”
Aboyeji said the union had lost many lives and property due to bad roads, adding that “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.”
NAN also reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday appealed to the drivers to immediately shelve their planned strike in order not to further hurt the economy and Nigerians in general.
Mr Garba Deen, the NNPC’s spokesman, made the appeal in a statement in Abuja.
He said, “While it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, the national oil company reckons that any disruption in the distribution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will adversely affect the business of the NNPC.
“It will also endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed in recent times.
“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 will provide a quick and effective solution to the road network challenges as expressed by the PTD,” he stated.
“We urge PTD to immediately call off the (planned) strike and give the current efforts by the 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.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how filling stations went on indefinite strike in Port Harcourt, River State, to protest the arrest of some tanker drivers and seizure of their vehicles.
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