There are indications that fuel distribution will be destabilised as the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association, DAPPMA, yesterday, insisted on embarking on strike to distrupt lifting from depots nationwide.
But oil workers, under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN and Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday, warned their members against participating in the strike.
DAPPMA in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, yesterday, said: "We don't have any written agreement based on recent discussions. It is only when we have a written agreement that it will be possible for us to present to owners of depots to convince them to postpone the planned strike.
"As a union, there is nothing that we can do. But if we have a written agreement from the Ministry of Finance, which we have been discussing with in order to pay depot owners, then we will discuss with the owners in order to call off or postpone the strike."
The statement read: "We refer to the press release from the Federal Ministry of Finance on December 6 following the meeting with marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and DAPPMA, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, stating that the marketers had agreed to resume operations.
"We did not sign the purported document with government as claimed. We still stand by our ultimatum.
"DAPPMAN reiterates that there was no agreement reached because offers by government failed to meet the legitimate demands of the association and we did not sign the purported document. Hence, our ultimatum stands as we cannot continue to borrow from banks to pay staff salaries."
Meanwhile, oil workers in the country, under the aegis of PENGASSAN and NUPENG, yesterday, waded into the ongoing disagreement between the Federal Government and oil marketers over the outstanding fuel subsidy claims and called for a speedy resolution of the issue before it plunges the country into another round of crisis.
Addressing newsmen after meeting with officials of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and its subsidiary, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, as well as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association, DAPPMA, the oil workers also assured that their interests were aligned with Nigerians.
PPMC, NNPC promise 24-hour operations
Speaking in the same vein, National President of NUPENG, Comrade William Akporeha, said: "This regime of NUPENG believes in dialogue. Until we are pushed to the wall, we do not take strike as the first option.
"So far, between now and December ending, I can assure Nigerians that there won't be shortage of petroleum products in our streets.
"We agreed that the oil marketers have legitimate claims and demands. However, we are also happy to say that the Federal Government is at this moment engaging them on how to resolve all the issues at stake."