By Abubakar Yunusa
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a body in the association, have denied reports of a plan to go on a nationwide strike.
In a statement on Monday, Olawale Afolabi, NUPENG’s general secretary, said the reports are intended to cause panic.
Over the weekend and in parts of the federal capital territory (FCT), residents were seen queuing for petroleum motor spirit (PMS), fuelling speculation that NUPENG may be planning to embark on an industrial action.
Afolabi said the public should disregard the report perpetrated by “some desperate individuals”.
“There is no plan whatsoever by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to embark on any protest as there is no division in the Union as some desperate individuals and their Sponsors want to project. The news item is false and unfounded,” the general secretary said.
“This press release is compelled in view of the attention of the leadership of both NUPENG and PTD that was drawn to this very misleading, mischievous and unfounded online news of the purported protest of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers across the country and we are deeply compelled to quickly release this press statement to avert any form of panic, that the fake news item is false, unfounded and should be ignored.
“It is intended to create panic in the public and cause artificial scarcity by these desperate individuals.
“All the Petroleum Tanker Drivers are fully committed to the national services of effective and efficient distribution of Petroleum products across the country.”
Afolabi also quoted Augustine Egbon, PTD’s national chair, as saying that there is no need for a strike.
“The Petroleum Tanker Drivers are not embarking on any form of protest and we are determined to continue our services to the nation and wholeheartedly support the efforts of the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to put our economy on the right track for the good of all of us,” Egbon said.
“We wish to further reiterate the fact that there is no division in our Union and the Branch of Petroleum Tanker Drivers.
“Our members are fully committed and United in our collective struggles as we believe that workers united, can never be defeated.”
The PTD chair said the security agencies should fish out those trying to create panic and disrupt the country’s petroleum value chain.