NUPENG Strike: Fuel scarcity hits Abuja

fuel_queues02 July 2013, Abuja – Long fuel queues have again resurfaced in most filling stations in Abuja following a three-day warning strike embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG.

NUPENG started the strike on Monday to press home its demand for what it termed unfair labour practices by some oil companies toward its workers.

A visit to some major filling stations in the FCT on Monday reports that chaos was the order of the day as motorists jostled to get fuel.

At the popular NNPC Mega Station in the Central Area, the queue had resulted in partial blockage of the adjoining road and a horrendous traffic jam.

Some motorists at the filling station had expressed dismay at the development, with a call on the relevant government agencies to immediately step in to address the situation.

Mr Pius Adejoh, a civil servant at the filling station described the situation as a set-back to the transformation agenda in the oil and gas sector.

“I think it’s really very sad that we are back to those days when we have to queue at filling stations to get fuel.

“The Federal Government needs to step in and meet with the oil unions with a view to finding a lasting solution to this perennial problem.”

Mr Kayode Olagoke, a taxi driver, also condemned the sudden queues at the filling stations and warned that it would lead to an increase in transportation fares if not urgently addressed.

The situation was also not different at the Conoil Filling Station, Central Area, opposite the NNPC Towers as long queues of vehicles were seen around the station.

The NUPENG President, Mr Achese Igwe, told NAN that the union had to call for the strike “due to unfair treatment of our workers by some oil companies which include Shell Petroleum development Company, SPDC, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., and Agip Oil Company.”

He accused the oil companies of unfair treatment of Nigerian workers through casualisation and outsourcing of workers, among other matters.

Igwe said that the leadership of the union had directed its members at various depots to stop loading of petroleum products to press home its demand.

He warned that the union would embark on an indefinite strike after the three-day warning strike if government and the relevant authorities failed to address its grievances.

About the Author