Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief on Monday as Petroleum tanker drivers called off their barely one-day old strike.
The decision was unanimously made around 5pm by NUPENG, NARTO, and PTD branch of NUPENG at a stakeholders meeting held at NNPC headquarters in Abuja.
Announcing the suspension of the strike, the NUPENG National President, Comrade Igwe Achese said with the intervention of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the GMD NNPC who has done so much to ensure efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, ”hence, the strike was hereby suspended”, he said.
The National President of PTD, Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, applauded the GMD and his management for their timely intervention and urged them to address the hostile behavior of security agencies towards tanker drivers.
On his part, the National President of NARTO, Alh. Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya assured the GMD that with his intervention, the condition of service document would be reviewed to improve the drivers’ welfare.
Honourable Joseph Akinlaja, Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream commended the GMD on his timely intervention, adding that this has saved Nigeria a lot of economic lose.
Also at the meeting, immediate increment of the bridging cost allowance payable to petroleum product marketers was formally announced by NNPC GMD on behalf of Federal Government.
Bridging cost is the allowance paid to marketers for the transportation of petroleum products from the storage depots to retail outlets across Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, said the allowance was raised from the current N6.20 per litre to N7.20 with immediate effect.
This was made public during the opening remarks of the GMD at the meeting between NNPC management and leaders of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers, PTD, section of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG in NNPC towers, Abuja.
Mr. Maikanti maintained that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has already approved the increment. He further said the decision to raise the bridging cost was a goodwill gesture by the federal government to demonstrate its commitment to resolve all issues affecting their smooth operations.
“I’m happy to announce to you that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has just approved the increase of bridging cost allowance from N6.20k to N7.20k.
“This is a good platform for you all to discuss the issues. We expect that with this, you will call off the strike immediately,” Mr. Maikanti told the oil workers.
“I plead with you to ensure that your discussions should be guided by national and not personal interest,” he added.
The tanker drivers commenced an indefinite strike on Monday. Should the strike not be called off after the meeting, it could lead to petrol scarcity across Nigeria.
Meanwhile the NNPC GMD applauded Hon Joseph Iranola Akinlaja for the efforts made by him to broker peace among affected unions.
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