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No End to Fuel Scarcity As NUPENG Mobilises for Nationwide Strike

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Monday, February 14th, 2022
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The leadership of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed the readiness to embark on nationwide strike over failure of government to honour the collective agreement reached with the union. This as black market fuel sellers had a field day at on many streets in close proximity to filling stations in Abuja while the stations were either shut or had very long vehicle queues.

Black marketers were seen hawking the product in jerry cans at inflated prices across the Federal Capital Territory.
Many filling stations in the Wuse, Gwagwalada, Banex, Utako areas of Abuja were shut down not having products to sell. However, the few who had products sold to buyers at prices ranging from N162 to N165, but there was a huge crowd as motorists struggled to buy petrol. The union, cited illegal diversion of fund meant by government for the repair of road as reason for the mobilisation of members for resumption of the suspended strike. The union called on all and sundry to join the union in this fight because the struggle is for the betterment of all Nigerians.

The president, Comrade Williams Akporeha and the general secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale, called on government to set up a competent monitoring and validation team comprising all those
stakeholders that signed the communique is formed to protect the fund from misappropriation.
The duo lamented that the good moved by government to repair major roads is being thwarted by unscrupulous poticians and warned that the suspended nationwide strike would commence without any other notice if the fund is allowed to be siphoned by some people.

Reminding the public, NUPENG stated that the suspended strike would start again following the failure of the constituted authority to honour their own part of the agreement, saying: the two meetings held by NUPENG with government “led to the signing of communique indicating the readiness and willingness of NNPC to finance the rehabilitation of identified 21 critical roads at an estimated sum of N621 billion through Road lnfrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
“On the basis of this communique, the Union suspended the intended industrial action, but we were very clear in our statement, that should the spirit and letter of the agreement not fully implemented with focus on those jointly identified critical roads or attempt is made to divert the funds, the Union will not give further warning to resume the intended actions.”
The union stated that “You will recall the proposal was tabled before the Federal Executive Council and was graciously approved by Federal Executive Council in-session.

“Unfortunately, our worst fear concerning the struggle is gradually unfolding with information coming out from reliable sources that some elements in the garbs of being state governments, officials of Ministry of Works and Housing and desperate. Politicians are already dipping their soiled hands into these funds and diverting them to roads already budgeted for and done since last year.”
Furthermore the union noted that “officials of Ministry of Works and Housing are going around showing pictures of roads done in June and August 2021 to justify payment made from the N621billion which was approved in October, 2021for the identified 21 critical roads.

“We have our facts and figures, and we shall not be cowed into allowing the N521billion to go same way others budgeted funds have gone.”
Still venting their anger the duo stressed that the N621 billion was approved because of “our demand and struggle, therefore, we owe our members and the general public the responsibility to
ensure that every kobo of the approved fund is accounted for.”
Akporeha and Olawale in addition said: “we urge every patriotic Nigerians to also rise up and join us in this struggle, this is not a fight for NUPENG alone, it is our collective fight.”

Meanwhile, there are signs that normalcy is returning in parts of Lagos as many petrol stations are now dispensing products.
Most of the stations monitored by our Correspondent at the weekend have started selling to motorists and heavy traffic occasioned by long queues has eased.
Around Maryland, Ikorodu road, Lagos Island and Ikeja monitored indicated that petrol is now more available unlike last wee.
The situation has also stabilized cost of transportation and commuters usually clustered and struggled for few commercial vehicles have also reduced significantly.
However, some Independent Marketers filling stations are still selling above government controlled price.
A particular station in Maryland is still selling at N165 per litre

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