The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off the one-week old strike in Abuja.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, announced this in Abuja on Thursday at a news conference.
He said that the union called off the strike after a meeting it held with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress and other “stakeholders” in the sector.
Wogu said “the government and the union agreed to work together toward finding a lasting solution to all issues in dispute.”
He explained that the meeting agreed to meet in two weeks to review the status of the implementation of all agreements reached with the unions.
The minister said that the government and the union also agreed that all those indicted in the fuel subsidy scam would submit to the ongoing verification.
“The meeting confirmed that the Federal Government has been paying all verified claims and will continue to pay all claims so verified,” the minister added.
“The depot owners and oil marketers have also agreed to keep their facilities open and pay the salaries of their workers.
“In view of the above understanding, the ongoing strike by NUPENG is hereby called off,” the minister announced.
Promise Adewusi, the Acting NLC President, said the decision to suspend the strike was collective.
“We have negotiated and agreed in good faith based on the confidence we have seen during this discussion, so the strike is hereby called off,” he added.
“We believe that two weeks is enough to iron out all other pending issues and we will be having other consultations, meetings and reviews within the period,” Mr. Adewusi said.
Benneth Korie, the National Chairman of the Oil and Gas Branch of NUPENG, said the meeting was not to fight for the fundamental marketers but to sanction anyone involved in any irregularities in the subsidy scam, including those on the government side.
He said he was certain of a resolution.
“We have, therefore, directed our tanker drivers to go back to work and resume lifting of oil from tomorrow (Friday),” Mr. Korie said. “So, there will be fuel within the Federal Capital Territory by tomorrow.”
The meeting, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, agreed on a continuous engagement between the government and the unions.
The labour minister also explained that two sub-committees were set up to look into issues concerning unfair labour practice in the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) and Penalty Clauses in the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) rules.