NUPENG to cripple Nigeria's petrol sector in solidarity strike for ASUU

By The Rainbow

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers ( NUPENG)  has  threatened stop distribution of petroleum products across the country if the Federal Government failed to implement the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

This is an indication of a build up a broad coalition of labour unions ready to back ASUU in its strike as the university lecturers industrial action enters its fourth month.

NUPENG strike will effectively shutdown the nation's network for the distribution of petroleum products and cripple operations in the oil sector in general.

The  NUT last week gave the Federal Government two weeks ultimatum to honour the agreement it reached with ASUU or face total shut-down of the education sector in the country.

According to NUPENG, it has chosen this line of action  in view of the lingering ASUU crisis which the government had failed to resolve in the last three months.

He however did not give any date for the commencement of the industrial action.

NUPENG President, Igwe Achese, who spoke at the union's National Administrative Council (NAC) meeting in Lagos at the weekend, said NUPENG was not happy at the crisis facing public university system in the country.

He blamed the crisis on government's failure to honour agreements, lamenting that this had led to the proliferation of strikes in nearly all sectors of the economy since the beginning of the year.

'We appeal to government to implement agreement reached with ASUU so that students can go back to school. If the crisis in the sector is not resolved, we will soon direct our members to embark on solidarity strike,' he said.

Achese blamed the Ministry of Labour for failing in its responsibility to check the break-down and abuse of laws governing industrial relations practice in the country by employers including government.

'The Ministry of Labour needs to be proactive if we must get these issues nipped in the bud. The ministry also needs to make sure that agreements reached or communiqué signed are implemented.

'The ministry has a big role to play to avert strikes in the country. When unions begin to lose faith in the ministry that is when we have this kind of crisis. The labour minister should be firm in making sure that the right decisions are taken.

'As it is now, every activity in the Ministry of Labour is in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, which ought not to be so. The role of the SGF should be to intervene only when the need arises.'