By Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177, [email protected]
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended its plans to go on strike after an intervention by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Both parties also pledged collaboration to ensure nationwide availability of petroleum products.
The suspension notice was made known in a communiqué following a stakeholders’ engagement between the NNPC, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Petroluem Tanker Drivers (PTD), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), and NUPENG.
The communiqué was jointly signed by Mele Kyari, group managing director, NNPC, Williams Akporeha, NUPENG president, Salmon Oladiti, national chairman of PTD, Yusuf Otthman, NARTO president and Abiodun Adeniji, executive director, NMDPRA.
NUPENG was poised to embark on strike based on its investigations, which revealed that officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing were diverting the fund provided by NNPC for the rehabilitation of 21 critical highways.
On road rehabilitation, the communiqué said NNPC provided updates on the current status of the road construction and rehabilitation projects under the road infrastructure tax credit scheme. It said the NNPC assured the stakeholders that the funding earmarked for the 21 critical roads would be applied for the intended purpose only.
”To allay the fears of the stakeholders, NNPC and all parties commit to work together in the monitoring of the road projects,” it said.
Concerning the review of freight rate for transporters, the communiqué noted that the stakeholders requested for completion of the ongoing discussion on the review of the freight rates to cover operational costs.
It noted that the stakeholders highlighted the precarious situation that truck owners faced in the light of economic realities.
It further explained that the NMDPRA informed the meeting that a committee was constituted to review the rates, which included PTD, NARTO and NUPENG, in addition to other stakeholders.
All parties agreed to work expeditiously towards concluding the review of the freight rate and make recommendations to government. In addition, the authorities would advise on a definite close-out date during the week from February 21: “The parties also agreed to foster collaboration on ensuring nationwide availability of petroleum products.
“All parties agreed to work closely to ensure efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country.”