Smarting from a debilitating one-week strike in Rivers State, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said it now has a new patriotic spirit, and would be collaborating with the Independent Petroleum Products Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPPMAN), and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to end the scourge of petroleum products scarcity being experienced in Rivers and some other parts of the country.
NUPENG’s national president, Achese Igwe, who was in Port Harcourt Tuesday for a tripartite meeting between his union (NUPENG) with IPPMAN and PPMC, pledged to remove all the barriers that impede the distribution of the petroleum products in the state, as well as adjoining Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State.
Igwe said NUPENG would work jointly with the two (IPPMAN and PPMC) to ensure that the products are made available to Nigerians at all times.
He said in the past, there had been misunderstanding between the union, and the Rivers State government, which had repeatedly accused tanker drivers of parking along the roads.
The three bodies equally made joint pledge in Port Harcourt, when the Rivers State executives of IPMAN, under the chairmanship of Sunny Nkpe visited the Depot Manager of Port Harcourt Refinery, Solomon Ataria, which also had in attendance NUPENG’s national president, Igwe.
They also agreed there was the need to strengthen communication, by being receptive to information, which they equally agreed should be acted upon timely.
Chukwuka Utazi, speaking on behalf of IPMAN, said they had put their house (IPPMAN) in order, and would make petroleum products available in states that were not getting supplies in the past, citing the case of Aba, which he said, used to suffer scarcity.
“We have put our house in order. We are working to ensure that marketers are not short-changed. There were some misunderstandings in the past. We want things to be done properly now for effective distribution of petroleum products,” Utazi said.
On his part, PPMC’s Ataria, said he had been looking forward to the day that IPMAN would come together and speak with one voice, noting that disagreements, and factionalisation had in the past impacted on the distribution of petroleum products in the area.
He said his team was ready to work with the new IPMAN chairman, Sunny Nkpe, whom he noted had assisted him in stabilising the body; and handling the demands of marketers through suggestions long before he became chairman.
“I am happy that we have finally agreed after disagreeing. Business can only thrive when there’s good working relationship among stakeholders,” Ataria stated.
NUPENG’s national chairman, Igwe, said the union was putting finishing touches to begin work on the 700 plots of land NUPENG got from the Rivers State government, where they will build a park, which will further bring sanity to the petroleum industry.
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