Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has hinted the Federal Government of its planned protest and shutdown of the oil sector if the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) sacks its members.
NUPENG gave the hint recently via a statement, urging the government to act within a 14-day ultimatum to settle the N650 billion debts allegedly owed its members.
Prior to the reaction from NUPENG, DAPPMAN issued a statement through its Executive Secretary, Olufemi Adewole, warning that if the government failed to meet the deadline, it would direct its members to shut all the depots the NNPC uses to store imported products as well as disengage over 10,000 workers.
However, NUPENG President, Igwe Achese, who addressed newsmen after a NUPENG Elders Stakeholders Meeting in Lagos, said the union would protect its members from the threats.
Achese noted that there was an urgent need to call for dialogue with the marketers, adding that if the issues were not promptly addressed, NUPENG would be at the receiving end.
“The problem will not only affect workers but also tanker drivers. Hence, if it happens, we will react to protect our members. If workers are sacked, the union will react accordingly,” he said.
The NUPENG chief advised the government to ‘wake up’ to the reality that NNPC alone could not sustain petroleum supply in the country.
“We have always said it that, for fuel crisis to end, our refineries must come back on stream. If we are importing, that should only be a stop-gap,” he said.
The union, he said, would give the Federal Government maximum support to ensure that all the refineries got back to their full working capacity, but that the government must ignore those that were calling for privatisation of the refineries. Instead, it should look for a way to upgrade the facilities.