Nigerian oil workers suspended their five-day strike Friday after a meeting with the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
President Goodluck Jonathan had waded into the crisis Friday, directing Mrs. Alison-Madueke to immediately convene a meeting with striking oil workers’ unions.
The meeting which began in the afternoon was ongoing at the presidential villa as of 7p.m. Friday. The meeting came as scarcity of fuel bit harder across the country.
PREMIUM TIMES understood that the president had directed Mrs. Alison-Madueke to dialogue with the leaders of the two main oil workers unions, the Petroleum and National Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, over their grievances. The oil workers had downed tools over the management of their pensions.
The unions also demanded the government to take Turn Around Maintenance of Nigeria’s four refineries more seriously. Other demands of the unions include the need for increased allocation of crude oil for local refining to help reduce the growing reliance on importation of petroleum products for domestic consumption. “Government has given a commitment to resolve all issues particularly the issue of Turn Around Maintenance and increment of allocation of crude oil,” the secretary of PENGASSAN, Bayo Oluwoshile told PREMIUM TIMES.