The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday advised the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) not to provoke Nigerians by embarking on frivolous strikes due to personal interest.
This is contained in a statement issued by the NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, in Abuja on Thursday, stressing that strike should not be so cheaply abused.
Omar said in the statement that the marketers had no reasons to close down fuel stations as there were no issues of national interests in dispute.
He said: “There have been media reports of an impending strike by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
“This is under the pretence that members of NUPENG are on strike at the Nigeria Independent Petroleum Company, (NIPCO), a company owned by IPMAN.
“While it is not true that NUPENG members at NIPCO are on strike, the issues in contention are basically an attempt to fiddle with internal democracy within the leadership of IPMAN.
“This is resulting in the refusal of the outgoing president to accept to leave office after the expiration of his tenure.
“The second issue is the refusal by members of NUPENG at NIPCO to accept the continued payment of petroleum subsidy to members of IPMAN who do not supply petroleum product in Nigeria.
“The concern by members of NUPENG against those who believe they can continue to receive subsidies for the supply of petroleum products even when they supply nothing cannot be considered a strike.”
He said that the ongoing crisis must not be used as reasons to advance personal interests by some marketers.
“Taking advantage of a system that has been a conduit for corruption in the statement should not be allowed.”
Omar said that no marketers hiding under personal interests should be allowed to further deepen the sufferings of consumers through the closure of fuel stations in the country.
He said that for months running, the nation had lost several hundreds of man-hours due to non availability or scarcity of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit.
He urged the authorities and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to take immediate measures to ensure the threat by the marketers to close down petrol stations was nipped.
“They cannot reduce the impact and essence of industrial strikes by claiming that their action is an industrial strike.
“Strikes are not declared to promote personal interests and advance corrupt practice.
“Petroleum marketers should not make themselves an enemy of the Nigerian people by unleashing further hardships through their proposed action.” (NAN)