The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended its nationwide strike which began on Monday, April 2, 2017.
The suspension is coming on the heels of intervention by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru.
Speaking in a statement issued on Monday evening, the NNPC group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, quoted Baru as saying that the intervention was in the national interest.
Baru further approved the increase in bridging costs from N6.20 to N7.20.
Bridging is money paid tanker drivers per kilometre for trucking petroleum products from depots to final destinations.
‘Mediating between the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Baru said ”we understand the difficulty of NARTO to go into negotiations which has to do with the level of bridging allowance.
”I am happy to announce that the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has given his approval to increase the bridging allowance from N6.20 to N7.20”, Baru said in the statement.
He said the review should give NARTO the breathing space to engage with PTD to immediately discuss and resolve as many of the issues as possible, adding that the gesture was expected to normalise relations between the unions.
Baru explained that NNPC intervened in the face-off between the unions to ensure the energy security of the nation, adding that ordinarily the dispute was only between PTD and its employer, NARTO.
Also speaking on the suspension of the strike, the NUPENG National President, Mr Igwe Achese, said with the intervention of Kachikwu and Baru, NNPC ”has done so much to ensure efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, hence, the strike is hereby suspended”.