By Emma Arubi
WARRI — HUNDREDS of protesting workers of the joint unions of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), branch of Petroleum Training Institute, (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, yesterday, shut down all academic, administrative and commercial activities in the institute.

The unions alleged persistent lack of water and power failure caused by the institute’s management insensitivity.
They also seized over ten 5 KVA power generating sets used by some senior administrative staff of the institution to power their departments.

In a statement signed by the branch chairman of PENGASSAN, Comrade Elvis Ireto, and his NUPENG counterpart, Mazoje N. O., the unions said after a thorough review of the state of the campus, with respect to electricity and water supply from April 2009 till date and efforts made to get manage-ment to take action on the vexed issues without success, they were left with no option but to embark on the strike.

Allege unfair treatment

They expressed regret that the management could afford to purchase generators for their use instead of effecting repairs on the broken down electric poles inside the campus which resulted in continued power outage and non-repair of the bad water supply mechanism in the school.

The placard-carrying workers and students also demanded for refund of all utility deductions made so far from their salaries by management in the absence of the facilities.

The unions also canvassed a lift on the ban placed on students’ union activities in line with fundamental human rights of freedom of association, even as they demanded that management provided alternative accommodation for staff before asking them to quit the institutions’ abode.

Ag Registrar reacts

Addressing the protesting workers, the Acting Registrar of the institute, Mr. S. A. Adigun, said that all the issues raised will be addres-sed, with a view to finding solutions to them.

However, the protesters refused to be pacified, asking him to effect a correction first before any meaningful settlement could be reached.

When Vanguard visited the campus, there was still tension.


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