Port Harcourt — The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has threatened to resume a nationwide strike action without prior notice over failure of the federal government to fix the 21 roads mapped out in 2021 between the union and the government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
National Treasurer of NUPENG, Comrade Alex Agwanwor, explained that the union in 2021 had threatened to embark on strike over the deplorable condition of federal roads across the country, which was causing petrol laden tankers to fall or be involved in accidents, leading to deaths and loss of products.
Agwanwor said the federal government through NNPC had intervene on the matter, even up to the point of mapping out funds for the repairs of the 21 roads during a meeting between NUPENG and the government.
He regretted that since then till now, nothing has been done about the 21 roads, and that even funds meant to repair the roads were being diverted to other projects, while the union continues to mourn and bury countless of her members from road accidents.
The union said it can no longer watch the continuous fall and explosion of it’s petroleum tanker trucks as a result of bad roads, which has caused several loss of lives, properties and resources going down the drain.
“In 2021 we gave an ultimatum to the governennt to go on strike over bad roads in the country, after the expiration of that ultimatum we were about to embark on strike when the government intervened through the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari.
“21 roads were mapped out for repairs and intervention, But we are disappointed that up till now nothing has been done. The information we have gathered is that even the funds that were mapped out for the road projects have been diverted to other projects, abandoning the ones that the funds were meant for.
“The roads in the country are terrible. You can agree with us there have been instances of tankers falling down, leading to loss of lives and properties and even loss of investments, because of the stress of driving on Nigerian roads.
“For us the govenrment must take an immediate action to repair the 21 roads they have already mapped out.”
Comrade Agwanwor maintained that government has no excuse not to have executed the 21 mapped out bad roads till now, after a concrete agreement was reached between the Union and government last year 2021.
Asked if the strike will not further throw Nigerians into hardship, especially since fuel scarcity was already biting hard, in addition to the already hard economic situation in the country, NUPENG said though the situation was regrettable, the union wil not allow her members to suffer or die from government’s negligence.
“The issue of Fuel scarcity and the economic situation in the country is regrettable, and it is also impacting on the lives of our members. However, we cannot allow our members to continue to loss their lives on bad roads because of government negligence. It is the duty of the union to protect the welfare of our members.
“The strike was suspended not called off. We are saying that if steps are not taken to arrest the situation, we will embark on indefinite strike without any further notice.”
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