Ndu Ughamadu, Abuja: The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has suspended its nationwide strike following the timely intervention of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
The GMD said his intervention was in the national interest.
Mediating over the faceoff between the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, on Monday at the NNPC Towers, the GMD announced the approval of bridging allowance from N6.20 to N7.20.
“We understand the difficulty of NARTO to go into negotiations with PTD which has to do with the level of bridging allowance. I am happy to announce that the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has given his approval to increase the bridging allowance from N6.20 to N7.20,” Dr. Baru revealed.
Dr Baru said the review should give NARTO the breathing space to engage with PTD to immediately discuss and resolve as many of the issues as possible, adding that the gesture, was expected to normalize relations between the unions.
The GMD explained that NNPC intervened in the faceoff between the unions in order to ensure the energy security of the nation, adding that ordinarily the dispute was only between PTD and its employer, NARTO.
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.
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 unruly behavior of security agencies towards their members.
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 Downstream, who represented Speaker Yakubu Dogara, commended the GMD on his intervention, adding that this has save the country a lot.