06 April 2014, Abuja – The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has urged Nigerians to disregard the threat of strike issued by the former President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),Mr. Aminu Abdulkadir, as he does not possess the constitutional powers to declare a strike.
The union also clarified that it does not have any hand in the lingering scarcity of petroleum products across the country, as none of its members or chapters across the country has embarked on strike action.
Addressing newsmen following an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee in Abuja Friday, the National President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese said the union has received the assurance that the lingering leadership crises in IPMAN, which has been determined by a Court, would be settled very soon.
He clarified that the union has already directed its members at NIPCO to resume work, as they withdrew their services following the leadership tussle which has ensured that their rights as workers were not guaranteed.
He expressed hope that the matter would be settled early next week, adding however, that the union would not give any notice if it decides to direct its members at NIPCO to again withdraw their services.
“We want to tell Nigerians that NUPENG is not on strike, and that the issue of withdrawing services from NIPCO depot is not what is causing the scarcity today as assumed, and the threat of IPMAN going on strike is not true. Aminu who might have gone out with his agents to have made those comments do not have the constitutional powers to declare any strike action in IPMAN.
“Nigerians must also know how the downstream sector works; today we are major stakeholders in the downstream sector. 60 – 70 per cent of the downstream sector is within the confinements of NUPENG. We want to assure Nigerians that the issue of fuel scarcity is not caused by NUPENG, and as a union, we are not on any strike action as assumed in the National Assembly yesterday (Thursday)”, Achese explained.
Speaking on the lingering crises, Achese hinged it on the fact that Nigeria is still depending majorly on importation of petroleum products, which is mortgaged into the hands of marketers who are private depot owners and importers.
“Our refineries are epileptic in production and that cannot sustain this country, which is why we are here”, he said .