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An employee holds a gas pump at a petrol station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

Strike: FG, Oil Workers Talks Deadlocked

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), yesterday, said a meeting it held with the Federal Government was inconclusive.

The union’s President, Mr Felix Osifo, who disclosed this in a statement, said the meeting ended in a deadlock because the government was yet to address some of PENGASSAN’s demands.

The union on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike, following expiration of an earlier seven-day ultimatum given to the government to accede to its demands.

The action followed the protracted disagreement between PENGSSAN and the Federal Government, over the latter’s directive on registration of its members on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“PENGASSAN maintained that Petroleum Training Institute and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, must be paid using the harmonised template of 2015.

“This has already been used by the budget office, appropriated by the National Assembly and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari into law. Also, that a high-powered committee, comprising Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers and PENGASSAN Presidents, should be raised to settle the outstanding issues surrounding the IPPIS platform. For the 22 months salary arrears, government agreed to pay 50 per cent and that the balance would be worked out after Federation Accounts Allocation Committee has met.

“PENGASSAN has agreed, but insisted that there should be a definite date for payment of the balance,’’ Osifo said.

He said the union was expecting to hear from the panel soon.

Meanwhile, scarcity of petrol has hit the commercial city of Aba in Abia State, as queues returned to the few filling stations selling the product, some as high as  N200 per litre,instead of the officially regulated  N161.

Motorists who had bought the product at the usual price of between N161 and N162 the previous day,  were surprised Wednesday morning, when price had gone up to N200 per litre.

It was learnt that most of the filling stations in Aba were out of stock due to PENGASAN strike in Aba zone, leading to non-lifting and supply of petroleum products to marketers for downward sales to filling stations.

Motorists who queued in the few filling stations that had products said they began noticing the scarcity Tuesday evening with some of the stations selling for between N170 and N190 per litre.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the area could not be reached for comments as no one was seen in their office at Osisioma, while calls made to phones of their officials were not taken.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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