NUPENG suspends strike over subsidy payment

The Federal Government and Labour on Thursday night suspended the one-week strike by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Abuja.

The union subsequently directed tanker drivers to resume lifting and suspend the planned nationwide strike.

In a communique signed by all parties and read by the minister of labour chief emeka wogu, it was resolved that all the issues raised over subsidy payments, non payment of salaries among others will be looked into and reviewed in 2weeks.

The communique said the meeting between government, NUPENG, NLC, depot owners and oil marketers was fruitful, adding that the government and the unions agreed to work together towards finding a solution to all the issues in dispute.

They also agreed that those accused of fuel subsidy fraud should submit themselves to the ongoing verification exercise, while the meeting confirmed that the Federal Government had been paying all verified claims and would continue to pay all claims so verified.

Two sub-committees were set up to look into the issues concerning unfair labour practices in the Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum and the penalty clauses in the Petroleum Products Price and Regulation Agency (PPPRA) rules.

The Federal Government also agreed to provide a platform for government, Labour and stakeholders to discuss efforts being made in the provision of infrastructure and rehabilitation of the refineries with a view to finding a way forward. It also agreed on a continuous engagement between government and the unions.

Confirming the call off, National President of NUPENG, Achese Igwe said “The strike action has been called off… Within two weeks we will come back again, to sit down to look at the issues again,”.

He directed tanker drivers to resume the distribution of petroleum products to Abuja which has been hit with scarcity since last week


“We have also directed immediately that our tanker drivers should go back to work and make sure product is being lifted into Abuja” he said.


We’re not going on strike for oil marketers but for workers – NUPENG

The president of  the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Achese Igwe has argued that the industrial action threatened by the union is not for the payment of oil subsidies to fraudulent oil marketers but to secure the payment of  salaries to workers in the sector.

Mr. Igwe was on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, to explain the reasons for the impending strike which has already grounded the Federal Capital Territory, leaving the residents to resort to black market for fuel.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recently alleged that the oil workers union was working in connivance with the oil marketers to blackmail the federal government over the payment of fuel subsidy.

The union leader however accused the federal government of non-compliance to earlier agreements with the union which included agreement on subsidy payments, repair of bad roads across the country plied by oil distributing trucks and refinery maintenance.

According to Mr Igwe, some of the workers in the sector are currently being owed salaries for over three months.

Reacting to the planned strike by NUPENG, the spokesman for the Civil Liberty Organsation, Abah Ejembi speaking from Channels Television’s Abuja studio, urged the union not to put the lives of over 160 million Nigerians at risk with the struggle for their union members,  that number about 15,000 by compelling the federal government to pay the subsidy claims that are shrouded in fraud.

Mr. Abah Ejembi claimed that NUPENG is fighting the battle for their ‘bosses’-the oil marketers who are entangled in allegations of fraudulent claims in the management of the nation’s fuel subsidy regime with the Ministry of Finance.