. PENGASSAN May Not Shut Down Oil Wells
The nationwide strike that followed the Nigerian government’s decision to remove the subsidy on petrol will linger on for some time as the meeting between the government and representatives of the organised labour in the country ended in a deadlock again on Saturday.
A meeting earlier held on Friday ended in a deadlock and the two parties decided to go back to the drawing board. Then the government had proposed that it was willing to reduce the pump price to N 120 with effect from March. The Labour leaders however made it known to the government that it was willing to accept N 90 and it would take effect in April.
But before the Saturday meeting, the executives of the labour unions met and decided to stick with the decision of Nigerians on the reversal of the pump price to N 65 per litre/ The labour leaders moved on to the Presidential Villa after their own meeting and the meeting with the Federal Government started around 7.45. There they insisted on the old pump price while the government clearly stated that reverting to the old price would not augur well for the economy.
Street Journal gathered that the leadership of the labour unions would not be meeting again on Sunday except the government is willing to open up another avenue for dialogue. It has also been found out that PENGASSAN (Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association) would not shut down as threatened, rather they would wait to see if the government would call for dialogue, this is because PENGASSAN’s shut down would not just affect oil production, it would also affect power supply nationwide.
If by the end of Sunday, government fails to reach out and call for dialogue and the issue remains unresolved, the strike will continue on Monday as the labour unions have asked protesters to take Saturday and Sunday off as rest days.