The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has suspended its strike scheduled to commence today to allow for dialogue and negotiation over the crises rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
The union however clarified that the suspended strike did not mean it had decided to completely shelve the strike which is as a result of the failure of IPMAN to implement the 2009 agreement due to the ongoing leadership tussle.
Briefing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the National President of NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, reiterated the commitment of the union to protect the interest of its members who constitute the majority of the work force in IPMAN.
He said the union would wait for the outcome of the June 30, meeting for a response from the officials of the Ministries of Labour and Justice on their mandate to work to resolve the crises.
He lamented that efforts to reconcile the warring factions in IPMAN had been continually breached by the Aminu Abdulkadir-led faction.
Achese clarified that the union had no intention of inflicting any form of hardship on the Nigerian populace, but was only interest in protecting the welfare of its member. Speaking on other issues, Achese cautioned against the balkanisation of the NNPC as a pre-condition for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly.
He called for the passage of the bill first, adding that all stakeholders in the industry can then discuss the way forward in the sector.
“As a union, we are not against the privatisation of refineries, but we insist that the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) must be carried out, pipelines secured and government must make sure new refineries are built,” he said.