The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off the one-week old strike it embarked upon in Abuja. The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at a news conference.
He said that the union decided to call off the strike after a meeting it held with the Federal Government, the NLC and other stakeholders in the sector.
Wogu added that the government and the unions agreed to work together to find a lasting solution to all issues in dispute.
“The meeting between the Federal Government, NUPENG, NLC and depot owners and oil marketers was cordial and fruitful.
The government and the union agreed to work together toward finding a lasting solution to all issues in dispute.”
He explained that the meeting agreed to meet in two weeks to review the status of the implementation of all agreements with the unions.
The minister said that the government and the union also agreed that all those found wanting in the fuel subsidy scam should endeavour to submit to the ongoing verification exercise.
The meeting confirmed that the Federal Government has been paying all verified claims and will continue to pay all claims so verified.
The minister further explained that two sub-committees were set up to look into issues concerning unfair labour practice in the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) and Penalty Clauses in the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) rules.
The meeting which was chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, agreed on a continuous engagement between the government and the unions.
Wogu said that the Federal Government would provide a platform for government, labour and all critical stakeholders to meet.
This, he said, would enable the government to discuss efforts being made in the provision of infrastructure and rehabilitation of the refineries with a view to finding a way forward.
“The depot owners and oil marketers have also agreed to keep their facilities open and pay the salaries of their workers.
“In view of the above understanding, the ongoing strike by NUPENG is hereby called off.”
Mr Promise Adewusi, the Acting NLC President, said the decision to suspend the strike was a collective one.
“We have negotiated and agreed in good faith based on the confidence we have seen during this discussion, so the strike is hereby called off.
“We believe that two weeks is enough to iron out all other pending issues and we will be having other consultations, meetings and reviews within the period.”
Mr Benneth Korie, the National Chairman of the Oil and Gas Branch of NUPENG, said the union did not believe that there would be any unresolved issues left after the two weeks.
He said the meeting was not to fight for the fundamental marketers but to sanction anyone involved in any irregularities in the subsidy scam, including those on the government side.
“We have, therefore, directed our tanker drivers to go back to work and resume lifting of oil from tomorrow.
“So, there will be fuel within the Federal Capital Territory by tomorrow.”