Nigerian oil workers in nationwide strike

The strike launched on Tuesday had been limited to petrol deliveries and did not affect oil production

Nigeria’s capital Abuja has been experiencing fuel scarcities since the country’s petroleum workers went on strike a week ago, according to an UPI article from today.

“Now the industrial action begun by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Federal Capital Territory chapter may spread nationwide.

“NUPENG is pursuing the national strike to pressure the government to pay billions in outstanding subsidy claims, along with other demands.

“In a last-minute attempt to avert the strike, Nigerian Minister of Labor and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu brokered a meeting with NUPENG this week. The union said that the outcome of will be a deciding factor whether the strike will be called.

“NUPENG said it cannot afford to continue to lose members to unemployment due to government’s refusal to pay the outstanding subsidy claims.

“If NUPENG and the government cannot reach agreement, then the union has called for a nationwide strike to begin Friday.

“‘The position of the oil workers still stands,’ NUPENG Acting General Secretary Isaac Aberare said in a report in the Nigerian Pilot publication.

“‘This time there is not going to be anything like jaw-jaw as such because we have done it before but it did not yield any fruitful result. The union is going to speak the language that government understands.’

“The NUPENG FCT chapter strike disrupted the end of Ramadan Eid al-Fitr travel for many people, The Daily Trust newspaper reported.

“The affect could be much more widespread is the strike expands to cover the entire country.”

According to Zimbio.com, the seeds of the strike were planted in January during a partial shutdown: “The strike was called off on January 16 after President Goodluck Jonathan reduced the price of petrol per litre to 97 naira (0.47 euros, $0.60).

“The government had scrapped fuel subsidies on January 1, causing petrol prices to more than double from 65 naira per litre.

“Most in the country of some 160 million people live on less than two dollars a day, and Nigerians, weary after years of blatant corruption, viewed the subsidies as their only benefit from the nation’s oil wealth.”

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