Port Harcourt — Another bout of fuel scarcity was averted in Rivers State, as the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, shelved their planned strike, at the weekend.
The planned strike was a result of alleged incessant harassment of NUPENG members and other oil workers, by operatives of the state government’s COVID-19 lockdown enforcement taskforce.
Our correspondent gathered that it took the swift intervention of the Rivers State Government through the Commissioner of Energy Resources, Dr. Peter Medee, and the Director of the DSS in the state, to broker peace which led to aversion of the planned strike by the oil workers.
This led to the issuing of a communique by the Rivers State Government, announcing that members of all labour unions and associations in the oil and gas sector, are essential service providers.
The oil sector unions and associations considered as essential service providers include, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and its branches; Products Retail Outlets Owners Association, PETROAN; Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Workers, NNPC; Department of Petroleum Resources Workers, DPR.
Others are, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN; Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN; and the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPMAN.
Speaking after a closed-door meeting with the Director of DSS and Rivers State Government, the National Treasurer of NUPENG, Comrade Alex Agwangwor, assured members of the public that dispensing of petroleum products across the state will now be unhindered.
“In view of the steps taken by the Rivers State Government, through the Honourable Commissioner of Energy, we deeply appreciate the position which the state government has taken on this, because it has been a very serious concern to all our members within the state.
“So I want to also assure the state government that by their action, through the communique, we will mobilize all our members and also ensure that all organs of the union are put into action to begin the loading, distribution, and dispensing of products in the state, with immediate effect.”
Also speaking, the National Vice President of PTD, Comrade Lucky Etokwu, assured that there was enough products in the state, hence, there was no need for panic buying.
“After the meeting with the Rivers State Government, Director of DSS and the union, we have decided to suspend the action. I want to assure you that we are law abiding citizens and we will also continue to be.”