Fuel Scarcity Looms As Oil Workers Down Tool

The on-going fuel crisis will linger on with the untold hardship being faced by Nigerians as oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday, began a nationwide industrial action against the restructuring of the NNPC by the federal government.

The union leaders of the NNPC branch of PENGASSAN and NUPENG blocked the entrance of the NNPC corporate headquarters in Abuja, preventing workers from resuming to duties even as they stated that operations have been shutdown nationwide.

The workers stated that they were not carried along in the entire process, hence their decision to down tool.

Sources within the unions said the development is also expected to extend to other critical areas of the country’s petroleum sector which includes downstream and upstream operations.

Effects of the development is expected to further cause disruption on downstream operations and escalate the lingering fuel scarcity when the depots across the country are closed by the protesting workers.

Already, distribution disruption caused by a strike action embarked upon by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and shortage of products occasioned by the NNPC being the sole importer of petroleum products at the moment, has resulted to weeks of fuel queues in cities across the country.

Briefing journalists last night, branch chairpersons of NUPENG and PENGASSAN in Abuja, said they have directed their members to proceed on indefinite strike nationwide starting from midnight of March 8.

The branch chairman of NUPENG NNPC, Odudu Benjamin Udofia said the government in embarking on restructuring, disregarded the need for engagement with stakeholders in the Corporation. Adding that it was a unilateral process which was only unveiled to them through the minister’s public pronouncement.

“The whole process has been shrouded in secrecy for a long period without involving or carrying any of the stakeholders along. Due to lack of proper consultations, there are flaws in the final structure that could have been avoided.

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