Posted by Transport & Business Express | 24 August 2012 | 2,930 times
True to yesterday’s promise by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), tanker drivers this morning resumed the supply of petroleum products to Abuja, thus raising hopes of an end to the crippling scarcity which descended on the Nigerian capital since last week Wednesday.
Calling off the strike at a press briefing in Abuja, NUPENG President Igwe Achese had directed tanker drivers to “immediately go back to work and make sure product is being lifted into Abuja.”
He gave the directive while announcing that the union had called for the nationwide strike proposed to start today before the federal government initiated dialogue, resulting in a two-week truce.
A correspondent of Transport & Business Express monitoring the fuel situation reports that tankers had been sighted supplying petroleum products to various filling stations in Abuja, including the satellite towns.
“As I write, some filling stations such as Oano and Conoil have already started opening the gates to anxious mototrists desperate to refuel their tanks,” the correspondent said.
It would be recalled that the crisis started last Wednesday, two days after the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) began a seven-day warning strike by suspending lifting of petroleum products to Abuja.
The strike is a strategy by oil marketing companies, depot and jetty owners under the umbrella of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) to get the Federal Government to pay their members all outstanding subsidy claims amounting to N200 billion.
After initial grandstanding, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, initiated a meeting with representatives of the striking oil marketers in Abuja but nothing concrete came out of it. The ministry had earlier denied the allegation of the oil marketers, accusing them of blackmail.
*Photo shows NUPENG President Igwe Achese.
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