The Federal Government will have a showdown meeting with oil workers, Wednesday, in order to avert a nationwide strike.
The Government’s delegation is expected to be led by the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, while the oil workers will be represented by the leadership of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG).
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has already relocated to Lagos to move closer to the marketers and oil workers.
NUPENG had threatened to start a nationwide strike, Thursday, over the failure of the Government to pay subsidy claims to marketers.
The Minister says only genuine marketers will be paid while many have already been paid.
NUPENG is made up of junior workers in the oil industry. The association says its members have not been paid salaries by oil marketers (their employers) for months because the marketers have not been paid their subsidy claims by the Federal Government.
The Government however says it is fraudulent marketers who are being investigated or prosecuted that are instigating the strike.
“It is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated for possible fraud. These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonize Government and create hardship for Nigerians,” Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement last week.
Already, the Punch Newspapers reports, the Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners Association has commenced a strike over the subsidy payments.
The Executive Secretary of the association, Enoch Kanawa, said its members shut their tank farms from Wednesday and that its members have not been paid their deserved subsidy, contrary to government claims.
Members of the association own 60 per cent of tank farms in Nigeria while the remaining is owned by major petroleum marketers.