By: Abayomi Adeshida, ABUJA
The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) unit of the National Union of Petroleum and National Gas NUPENG, has assured Nigerians that Tanker Drivers would not participate in the proposed strike action by a unit of the petroleum industry.
The key players in Nigeria’s very important distribution chain of the nation’s oil industry further promised that the industrial action by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, would not affect the distribution of petroleum products in the country.
Otunba Salmon Akaani Oladiti, the national chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) unit of NUPENG, told Vanguard in a telephone interview that the proposed strike action by PENGASSAN was a rumour which filtered into the leadership of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers just as it got to other Nigerians.
According to him, “we have heard of the rumour of the strike you are asking me to comment on.
“Let me inform you here and now that in PTD, we have a process of calling our members to embark on strike action and as at today that we are discussing, I can confirm to you that we do not have any reason to embark on industrial action.
“Every Labour Leader understands the process of calling its members to stop work and we know the implication of stopping the distribution of products in Nigeria for just one day.
“We have also heard the rumour of the PENGASSAN Strike and let Nigerians be rested assured that we are not part of the planned strike
“We are a branch of NUPENG and we are not involved in any discussions to embark on strike action as we speak today.
“We have been holding regular meetings with our members to discuss issues that will help our business and improve how we contribute to nation-building,” Otunba Oladfiti told Vanguard.
When asked when his members would join the strike because motorists have commenced panic-buying of products in Abuja, the PTD Chairman said it was not in their plans.
In his words, “I am not in Abuja as you were told when you visited our Abuja office.
“We cannot just call our members out on a strike like that without following the laid down steps of embarking on industrial action.
“Even if we have to go on a strike, we have a process of embarking on a strike like that with a timeline to follow. We explore all avenues to dialogue and make our demands before government before we call our members to embark on a nationwide strike if our demands are not met within the period laid down in the guidelines.
“We identify why we want to go on strike, hold a series of meetings before we call our members to brief them on the decision we take collectively.
“On this matter that made you call me, we have not been part of the process and we cannot just join in a matter that we did not join them from the beginning.
“Let me assure motorists that we do not have any plan to join the strike, so, they should avoid panic-buying of petroleum products,”Oladiti said.
News of an industrial action by PENGASSAN filtered into the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by mid-day on Monday.
The news made many motorists join fuel queues which suddenly started to build up within the Central Business District