NNPC begs NUPENG to suspend planned strike, says ‘It’ll endanger energy security’ - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE


Sunday, 10 October 2021

NNPC begs NUPENG to suspend planned strike, says ‘It’ll endanger energy security’

By Our Correspondent

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to shelve its planned strike.  

On Saturday, NUPENG said tanker drivers on its platform will commence a strike on December 11 to protest the bad condition of roads in the country.

Tayo Aboyeji, the south-west zonal chairman of NUPENG, said the union has lost many members and properties due to bad roads.

“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike, but we had to call it off because it will generally affect a majority of Nigerians. But now, our hands are tied. We are going on a nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways,” he had said.

But in a statement issued on Sunday, Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC spokesperson, said while it recognises the concerns of the tanker drivers, embarking on strike will negatively affect energy security.

Muhammad added that NNPC has made some intervention efforts to address the issue of bad roads in the country.

“The strike is about the condition of roads in various parts of Nigeria used for the distribution of goods and services including petroleum products,” the statement reads.

“While it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, any disruption in the distribution of petroleum products will adversely affect the business of the NNPC. It will also endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed for a long time now.

“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 recognises the legitimate concerns of the tanker drivers. We, however, appeal to the leadership of the drivers to reconsider their decision in the overall national interest.

“Accordingly, we urge petroleum tanker drivers 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.”

NNPC also advised Nigerians to avoid panic buying of petroleum products, adding that there is “sufficient stock to last through this festive season and beyond”.