14 May 2014

Nigeria: Fuel Scarcity Looms As NUPENG Withdraws Service From Depots

There are fears that the fuel situation in the country may get worse following the decision of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to withdraw its services from the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO), Warri and Calabar depots.

The president of the union, Igwe Achise, who spoke with journalists in Abuja after an emergency Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting said the decision to withdraw its services was taken after the NIPCO dragged the NUPENG to the National Industrial Court (NIC).

He said NUPENG has withdrawn its services from the NIPCO pending the determination of the case in court.

He also said the decision to shut down the Warri and Calabar depots were in reaction to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) which shut down the Warri depot on Monday.

There has been an internal crisis in the IPMAN which resulted in the emergence of two different factions of the association with one electing Chinedu Okoronkwo as its president against the court order that pronounced Lawson Obasi the association's president.The State Security Service, Pipeline Product Marketing Company, and other agencies had intervened to address the crisis to no avail.

But speaking to journalists after the union's meeting at Abuja, Achise pointed out that the NUPENG is not on strike, although it has withdrawn its services from the NIPCO which is owned by the IPMAN.

He said, "Today, our members are locked outside the Warri Depot. Those who are working are working under the rain because their office has been taken over. We are also appealing for those offices to be opened for workers to go in and continue their administrative work."

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