Nigeria’s Major Oil Marketers, Workers End Strike

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Magnus Abe

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Normalcy will soon return in Nigeria after her people had suffered weeks of hardship due to scarcity of petroleum products because major marketers and oil workers union have ended their strike today and will resume lifting petroleum products across the country immediately

NIGERIANS heaved a sigh of relief as the Senate brokered a truce between the federal government and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in Abuja, on Monday, May 25. With the agreement, the stakeholders have ended their industrial action which caused fuel scarcity that crippled the nation’s economy for more than one month and caused untold hardship to the masses. The oil marketers and workers union have agreed to start lifting the petroleum products across the country immediately.

The agreement, Senator Magnus Abe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), brokered between the federal government and the stakeholders, stated that the Department of Petroleum Resources would immediately revoke the license of any oil marketer who fails to lift petroleum products across the country within the next six hours. The federal government was represented at the Senate hearing by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy.

Perhaps, the threat of revocation of licenses prompted the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria, MOMAN, and the fact that one of the marketers broke ranks with its members, made them to announce that their members would resume fuel lifting in the next six hours. Also, the oil industry union, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have called off their strike.

It should be recalled that Capital Oil broke ranks with its striking members on Sunday, May 24, when it announced that it would resume the lifting of petroleum products today.

Ifeanyi Uba, chairman of Capital Oil, said that the independent oil marketing company was pushing out 15 million litres to ease the situation across the country while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC said that it has about 36 million litres being discharged presently.

The fuel shortage was sparked off by greedy oil marketers, who demanded immediate payment of bloated arrears of fuel subsidy allegedly owed them by the federal government. The federal  government about three weeks ago said that it had paid the marketers about N50 billion owed to them while the marketers claimed that they were being owed much more than that amount.

— May 25, 2015 @ 5.00 GMT

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