…Says over 2.9bn liters available for Yuletide

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday declared a nationwide strike, heightening fears of fuel scarcity in the country.

The crux of the matter is the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

But the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday dismissed mounting insinuation of possible scarcity of petroleum products following the PENGASSAN strike action.

NNPC spokesman, Kennie Obateru, quoted the group managing director, Mallam Mele Kyari in a release saying, the industrial action embarked upon by PENGASSAN would not lead to scarcity of petroleum products as all fuel stations and petrol depots in the country have enough stock of products to service consumers and are open for business.

[Also Read] Fuel Scarcity Looms as Oil Workers Begin Strike Over IPPIS

While expressing hope that the industrial dispute would be settled amicably, Kyari assured that the Corporation has thus far emplaced a stock of over 2.9 billion litres of petrol to guarantee seamless movement of people, goods and services across the country in the forthcoming Christmas season and beyond.

The NNPC GMD reiterated that the Corporation is determined to make the 2020 end-of-year festivities a zero fuel queue period just like the preceding year, noting that critical stockholders in the petroleum products supply and distribution chain such as tanker drivers, depot owners and road transport owners have been mobilized to ensure hitch-free season.

Speaking on the strike, PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo, confirmed the union’s position during his appearance on national television. “Our members are sitting at home and we will continually watch the situation and if we need to review it up, we will definitely review it up,’’ he said.

Osifo said the strike became inevitable given federal government failure to address the issues raised by the oil and gas workers.

[Also Read] Modular refineries will end continuous fuel scarcity – PENGASSAN tells FG

He stated that the union had given the government a seven-day ultimatum in a statement issued penultimate Monday to respond to the issues.

Another issue that is of concern to the union, according to the PENGASSAN president, is that relating to the action of a private oil company which he accused of destroying PENGASSAN structure in its workforce.

He said the management of the company sacked literarily all union executive members and went ahead to lock members out for a very long time.

The issues raised by the oil and gas workers were a fallout of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, by the government regarding the payment of salaries.

While the union said it didn’t have preference for any tool used by the government to pay salaries, workers’ remuneration must be paid without any shortfall.

[Also Read] We Won’t Join PENGASSAN Strike – NUPENG

Osifo also alleged that the arrears and allowances of some union members at Petroleum Training Institute, PTI; Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA; Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority; NNRA; and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, were seized sometimes in the year.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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