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COVID-19: NUPENG promises safety kits for tanker drivers

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…Urges member not rendering essential services to stay away from depots

Ranmilowo Ojalumo

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has reiterated its commitment to joining frontlines in the fight against coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

In view of this, the union has directed all its members that are on the value chain of distribution of petroleum products for commercial, Industrial and domestic uses to continue their work.

The sets of workers, according to the union include the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, Petrol Stations Workers, Petroleum Products Depots Workers, Oil and Gas Suppliers, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers among others.

The union vowed to provide the needed safety kits for the tanker drivers and other members that are on duty. The union also urged every relevant agencies in the downstream sector to provide necessary mechanisms and tools including social distancing at their various locations and support the Workers with necessary kits and logistics.

The union made the disclosure in a press statement issued and signed at the weekend by the National President of the union, Comrade (Prince) Williams Eniredonana Akporeha and the General Secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale. The statement was obtained by Haulage & Logistics Magazine at the weekend.  

The statement reads in part “the leadership of our great Union met today Friday, 27th March, 2020 and carefully examined the critical roles we play in the socio/economic landscape of our dear nation, vis a vis the current rampaging coronavirus pandemic the global community is currently facing.

General Secretary, Comrade Afolabi Olawale

“Arising from our discussions, we came to the conclusion that the nation needs our essential services in same manners the nation requires the services of all those in the frontlines of the fight to curtail the spread of the virus.

“It was therefore unanimously resolved that all our members that are on the value chain of distribution of petroleum products for commercial, Industrial and domestic uses shall continue to work, these sets of workers include the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, Petrol Stations Workers, Petroleum Products Depots Workers Oil and Gas Suppliers, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers and others .

“We are quite aware that these workers in the course of serving the nation become highly vulnerable to the virus, but at this point in our national life, we must all rise to defend humanity and no price should be too high to pay.

“We shall provide whatever necessary safety kits we can afford at various loading points and to all Petroleum Tanker Drivers and also urge all Petroleum Depots Owners, Operators, Petrol Stations Owners and industrial set ups to provide necessary mechanisms and tools including social distancing at their various locations and support the Workers with necessary kits and logistics.

“The Union will provide within our meager resources whatever assistance we can to mitigate various unforeseen circumstances that may arise in the course of our service to our fatherland and we implore other Stakeholders to support the initiative of our Union in whatever manner.

Meanwhile, the union has ordered any of its members that not working on loading and distribution of petroleum products or rendering any essential services to stay at home to avoid unnecessary crowd at operational locations. The union vowed to discipline any erring members.

“NUPENG further wishes to inform all these members and other Stakeholders in the Downstream Sector of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry to diligently follow international protocols, including the recommended health and safety measures by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) by maintaining social distancing, excellent personal hygiene and keeping the work environment safe while discharging their essential services in the downstream sector of the industry and to the general public.

“Very importantly, NUPENG is using this opportunity to implore all our members across the country who are not rendering essential services as enumerated above on any particular day not to go to loading or discharging locations. The Union will deal with any member found loitering around these locations without proof of rendering key services.

“We further urge all our members to continue to adhere strictly to social distancing and high level of hygienic behavior at work, at home, on the streets and with everyone they interface with in their daily activities so as to reduce the spread of the contagious Covid-19 and keep the socio-economic activities of the country alive industrially, domestically and commercially.

“Our members should be rest assured that the leadership of the Union will not forsake them and our dear nation at this precarious time as we pledge to serve our nation with everything we have for our collective good and wellbeing. It is our prayer that we find a lasting solution to this scourge early enough, so that the world could be safe and healthy for us to live in.

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