As Nigerians continue to grapple with fuel scarcity in some parts of the country following last week's strike threat by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, another influential group in the oil industry says it is set to begin its strike from Monday.
PENGASSAN had announced last week that it would embark on an indefinite strike from today (Monday) following a stalemate in the peace meeting, which the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, brokered between the union and Neconde Energy Limited.
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, responding to the development through the Deputy Director (Press) in the ministry, Prince Samuel Olowookere, said: "The minister has arrested the strike", adding that a resolution was reached at a meeting called by the minister for PENGASSAN to put the strike on hold. The Association in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Fortune Obi, vowed that the association will down tools unless last minute intervention by government is secured.
In a statement last week, PENGASSAN ordered the shutting down of all oil and gas installations, resulting in the disruptions to fuel supply and distribution across the country.
The strike could hit Nigeria's oil production and dent exports, as they did in December past year during a PENGASSAN action against ExxonMobil.
The dispute arose after domestic oil and gas companies and marginal field operators laid off union members.
On the other hand, PENGASSAN is to honour its own side of the bargain, report to its Central Working Committee with a view to shelving the strike.
PENGASSAN has asked the government to force the management of those companies to recall their laid off workers.
The oil union and Neconde had been embroiled in a crisis over allegation of anti-worker practices by the firm.