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Nigerian Oil and Gas Workers Set to Join Nationwide Strike Over Economic Policies

September 29, 2023

NUPENG’s Decision to Participate Marks Significant Escalation in Union-Government Conflict…….

Photo Credit: Business Insider Africa

In a bold move, Nigeria’s major oil and gas union, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has announced its participation in a nationwide strike scheduled to commence on October 3. The strike is aimed at protesting government policies that have inflicted economic hardships on Nigerians.

This development follows the call for an indefinite strike by the country’s two largest labor union federations. NUPENG, representing a broad spectrum of workers in the oil and gas sector, including upstream oil platform personnel, gasoline tanker drivers, and pump attendants, has instructed its members to wholeheartedly comply with the strike.

Williams Akporeha, the President of NUPENG, expressed grave concerns about the prevailing socio-economic difficulties facing Nigerians due to the government’s actions. He emphasized that these actions had caused “excruciating and debilitating socio-economic pains” without adequate measures to mitigate the immediate impacts.

At the heart of the issue is President Bola Tinubu’s controversial decision to eliminate a popular gasoline subsidy. While this move has reduced government expenditure significantly, saving more than 1 trillion naira ($1.32 billion) in just the first two months, it has also sparked public outrage.

Supporters of the subsidy removal, including global investors and financial institutions such as the World Bank, argue that it is a necessary step to ensure the country’s financial sustainability. They contend that eliminating the subsidy would save the country a substantial amount each month, making its finances more robust.

Nigeria, as Africa’s largest oil producer, heavily relies on oil exports for over 90% of its foreign exchange revenues and approximately half of its budget. This strike, with NUPENG’s involvement, underscores the deepening tension between labor unions and the government over these critical economic policies. As the strike date approaches, the nation watches with bated breath to see how this situation unfolds.

Source: Business Insider Africa

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