14 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Describing the expected action as “Mother of all strikes,” Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, urged Nigerians, Friday, to prepare for a prolonged strike if the government does not reverse the pump price to N65 per litre.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and its sister union, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Unions (NUPENG) plan to shut down operations in the Nigerian upstream and downstream oil sectors, including export terminals, on Sunday if the government refuses to revert the pump price of petrol to N65 per litre.
At a briefing in Lagos, PENGASSAN President, Babatunde Ogun, said, among other implications, Nigeria would default in its contractual obligations to the international community as there would be no crude and gas supplies.
This, according to him, would cripple telecommunications, power and healthcare delivery to Nigerians and the country will not meet its crude production quota for the next six months.
The Nigeria government had on Thursday night at a meeting with Labour insisted on full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry. But, Labour insisted that government must reverse the pump price of petrol to N65 per litre.
The two parties are expected to resume talks today after the deadlock on Thursday, and labour leaders say the outcome of today’s session will define the next stage of the strike.
At the end of protests on Friday, Labour declared today (Saturday) and Sunday rest days to enable protesters refresh and get ready for a prolonged strike from Monday.
Speaking at a three-hour labour rally on Friday, at Julius Berger Roundabout in Abuja, the NLC President insisted that “there is no retreat, no surrender on the demand for N65 pump price.”
He also asked Nigerians to prepare for the “Mother of all strikes” should government fail to reverse the pump price to N65 per litre.
The NLC President debunked the insinuations that labour leaders have compromised.