Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG backs NLC planned strike

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG has pledged its loyalty to the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and any step that the NLC decides to take in its planned nation-wide strike over non implementation of the national minimum wage.

The Federal Government on Friday obtained an order from the National Industrial Court restraining the organised labour from embarking on strike, but the NLC, the Trade Union Congress and the United Labour Congress had, however, insisted on embarking on the strike, claiming that they had not been served with court processes.

The National President of NUPENG, Prince Akporeha, said that since his union is an affiliate of the NLC, it would comply fully with any directive the NLC gave.

When asked if NUPENG would join the strike, he said, “Are we not an affiliate of the NLC? Is NUPENG on its own? Of course we are with the NLC.”

When reminded of the fact that a court had ordered unions not to go on strike, the NUPENG president said, “We are waiting for directives.”

Attempts to get the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Saturday also proved abortive as its President, Francis Johnson, neither picked repeated calls to his telephone nor responded to a text message on Saturday.

The organised labour had fixed November 6, 2018 for the commencement of an indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to approve the N30, 000 it is demanding as minimum wage.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has dispelled insinuations of an impending petroleum products scarcity in the country.

A release Sunday in Abuja by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, said the corporation had 39 days petroleum products sufficiency and about 25 days products availability on land, stressing that motorists and other consumers of petroleum products are assured of adequate stock to meet their energy needs.

The NNPC spokesperson said providing information on the petroleum products stock level became necessary to dispel suggestions that the threat of strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) would result in a slip into a round of products shortages across the country.

Ughamadu advised motorists not to engage in panic buying as the corporation would do all it could to ensure the strike action does not impact negatively on fuel distribution nationwide.

He stated that Nigerians should remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Industry regulator or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station that attempts to take advantage of any prevailing situation in the country at the expense of the consumers.

Last week, the Nigeria Governors Forum said it could only pay N22, 500 as minimum wage, a position which was rejected by the unions.

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