The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members, who are petroleum tanker drivers, petrol station workers, petroleum depot workers, independent marketers’ employees, oil and gas suppliers, surface tankers, kerosene peddlers, and liquefied petroleum gas retailers to stay at home.
This directive was issued as a measure to curtail the growing cases of the deadly coronavirus disease and in line with the stay at home order given by the Federal Government and states governments.
NUPENG also issued this order following the concerns over the health and safety of the people in the informal sector that NUPENG described as its ‘vulnerable members.’
In a statement released by the union and signed by the National President, Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, NUPENG appealed to its members in the affected sectors and other stakeholders in the downstream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
The Union emphasized the need for them to diligently follow international protocols, including the recommended health and safety measures given by the World Health Organisation and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
It urged them to maintain social distancing, excellent personal hygiene and keep the work environment safe while discharging their essential services in the downstream sector of the economy and to the general public.
The statement read in part:
In the light of the above, the union may be forced to direct these workers to stay at home with effect from 00.00hrs on Friday 27th March 2020, this is a very difficult decision but necessary and important with respect to the safety of these set of workers who are our members in the informal sector.
Meanwhile, NUPENG is also using this opportunity to encourage all our members across the country to continue to adhere strictly to social distancing and high level of hygienic behaviour at work, at home, on the streets and with everyone they interface within their daily activities.
“This is to reduce the spread of the contagious Covid-19 and keep the socio-economic activities of the country alive industrially, domestically and commercially.”