By evangelist.com.ng edition, Monday September 2, 2023. Admin.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed all its members nationwide to withdraw their services and shut down refineries, filling stations and other areas of operation under the union’s portfolio from midnight on Tuesday, October 3.
The union in a statement jointly signed by its President, William Akporeha and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, said that the directive was in compliance with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National Executive Council (NEC) resolution, as well as joint resolution of NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC), reports Daily Sun.
The union said that it has directed all its branches to mobilize for the action.
“All NUPENG members, including the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Petrol Stations Workers (PSW), Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR) and all other allied workers in the value chain of petroleum products distribution must comply with this directive from midnight of Tuesday, 3rd October 2023.
“All branches and units of our union are to take note and ensure full compliance by setting up compliance and monitoring teams in all operational locations,” the union said.
NUPENG said that it is aware of the huge impacts a 24-hour industrial action by the organized labour would have on businesses and socio-economic lives of the nation, regretting unfortunately, that government’s actions and inactions are inextricably forcing the organized labour to take “this very hard and painful route of last resort to demand for needful socio-economic policies to ameliorate and cushion the debilitating and dehumanizing living conditions of Nigerians generally.”
The union noted that beyond any reasonable doubts, the government has demonstrated high insensitivity lack of respect and regards to organized labour and the Nigerian masses.
The union said that its leadership finds it so disturbing and unfortunate that the Federal Government and other tiers of governments are so insensitive to the excruciating and debilitating socio-economic pains Nigerians are passing through as a result of very harsh and sudden economic policies taken by the President Bola Tinubu administration without any accompanying socio-economic policies to ameliorate and cushion the immediate effects and impacts those difficult and harsh policies are having on the citizenry.
It added that further worrisome to the union is the apparent lack of regards and respect to cries and yearnings of the Organised Labour, Civil Society Organisations and the general public by the present administration.
But the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has appealed to the Organised Labour, represented by the NLC and TUC to reconsider their planned nationwide strike, billed for Tuesday, October 3.
In his 63rd Independence Day anniversary message, the Olubadan called on both the labour unions and the government to find amicable solutions and avoid over-stretching the Nigerian people.
The Olubadan emphasised the need for dialogue between the labour unions and the government, advocating openness and understanding.
He reminded both parties that when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers, drawing attention to the devastating impact of prolonged strikes, citing the example of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, which resulted in the loss of an entire academic session for affected students.
Oba Balogun emphasised the incalculable loss that a nationwide strike would entail, urging the labour leaders to consider the sick, students, and other vulnerable groups who would bear the brunt.
While acknowledging the dire situation faced by workers and the Nigerian population, the Olubadan called for caution, highlighting the short time of the present administration and the challenges inherited.
He expressed optimism that President Tinubu would fulfill his campaign promises and called for patience, prayers, and assistance from Nigerians.
The Olubadan appealed to the President and his team to take urgent actions to mitigate the effects of current policies, emphasising the limited endurance of the Nigerian people.
He, however, congratulated Nigerians on the independence day anniversary, acknowledging the numerous challenges the nation has faced, but also recognizing the divine touch that has kept the country together.
Oba Balogun also urged Nigerians to remain optimistic, committed, and steadfast in their faith for a better and prosperous nation just as he wished everyone a happy Independence Day Anniversary.