ULC strike: NNPC cautions Nigerians against panic buying
…As strike fails to make impact
…ULC says it’s successful
By Bimbola Oyesola
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday warned Nigerians against panic buying of petroleum products in compliance to the strike threat by the United Labour Congress (ULC), stressing it has enough stock of products to meet national need.
This is even as the strike purported to have commenced yesterday failed to have any visible impact on the masses and businesses as Nigerians went about their daily activities without any disruption.
But the ULC President, Joe Ajaero, said the strike in its first day recorded huge success in the target the centre set for itself to achieve.
The NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement in Abuja, said the Corporations had sufficient Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, in stock to serve the nation for 48 days.
He said, “similarly, there is in stock, sufficient quantity of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) as well as Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) to serve the country.
“Motorists are further enjoined to report any challenge they may have in the course of purchasing any of these products to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The DPR is statutorily empowered to deal with such issues and has offices located in all parts of the country,’’ Ughamadu said.
NNPC assured that government was working to arrive at an amicable resolution of outstanding issues with the industry unions.
The ULC had threatened the Federal Government it would go on strike from Monday if its 11-point demand was not met. It is demanding, among others, that the Federal Government should stop stationing soldiers and policemen in its workplaces.
However, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Federal Ministry of Labour have insisted that the ULC was “fake”since it has not been recognised by government.
For his part, Ajaero insisted that the ULC would press on with the strike. “Our refusal to get distracted forced the ULC to press on with the strike as earlier proposed and we want to thank God that we have far exceeded our target for the first day.
The overwhelming response by Nigerian workers and the solidarity which Nigerian masses have shown to our call has emboldened us.
, encouraging us to work harder to make the second day even more impactful.”
He noted that the unfortunate turn was foisted on them by the recalcitrant nature of the Federal Government in refusing to meet their legitimate demands made available to the government nearly two months ago.
He added: “We have adopted a gradual and systematic approach in implementing this strike in order to reduce the suffering that may be foisted on Nigerian workers and masses if we apply the whole weight at the same time.”
Ajaero, however, warned that the compliance level will be tighter from today and would regrettably increase as the strike is allowed by the Federal Government to continue from day to day.
Meanwhile, the NNPC, in another statement on the Apapa Jetty fire incident, which occurred in the early hours of Monday, said the fire incident would not affect supply of petroleum products.
“Already, NNPC has deployed a team of engineers to the jetty, while repair of the affected parts would commence immediately. The fire was sparked from the activities of hoodlums who were scooping fuels spilled from ships discharging fuels at the jetty.”
NNPC said its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had been briefed on the incident. “Dr. Baru described the occurrence as unfortunate but reiterated that the NNPC had more than 1.6 billion litres of PMS, enough to last the nation 48 days.”