A meeting between government representatives and oil workers’ union NUPENG will continue today in Abuja to resolve issues over which the union threatened to begin a nationwide strike.
“We agreed to reconvene. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation has also agreed that he wants to chair the meeting,” president of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Igwe Achese, told journalists last night.
He said the meeting yesterday was inconclusive and therefore another session has been scheduled for today.
The union is pressing for the payment of billions in fuel subsidies owed marketers who are the union’s employers. Government is delaying the payments because of pending allegations of massive fraud against 25 of the oil marketers.
Speaking on the strike, which is due to begin tomorrow, Achese said, “Well the status quo still remains. I believe that by tomorrow we will be able to resolve these issues and have a way forward…. I assure you tomorrow that we shall have a way forward.”
On allegations that the union is being instigated by indicted oil marketers, Achese said, “we will not as a union compromise on fraudulent activities, we said clearly that any marketer that is found wanting should be prosecuted.”
The Federal Government yesterday released the names of four more indicted oil marketers, making 25 so far the names of those allegedly found to have fraudulently collected billions in petrol subsidies.
Government said payments of subsidy claims are going on but that the indicted marketers must face the music.
At least one of the marketers has placed newspaper advertorials to dispute government’s claims of fraud against it.