By Michael Eboh
Petroleum Tankers Drivers, PTD, branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural gas Workers, NUPENG, Monday, suspended their strike action to allow for further dialogue with the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
At a meeting in Abuja, called at the instance of the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, the Federal Government also kick-started the process for a hike in the prices of petroleum products, with the products likely to sell between N147 and N150 per litre.
Specifically, to satisfy the yearnings of the aggrieved tanker drivers for an increase in transporters’ margin, sources among the officials of the PTD and NUPENG told Vanguard that Baru promised to increase the Bridging Claims for the tanker drivers from the present N4 per litre, thereby setting machinery in motion for a possible hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
The Bridging Claim is the amount paid to distributors of petroleum products across the country, and was introduced to ensure uniformity in the price of petroleum products across the country.
In May 2016, the Federal Government had approved a price range of N135 and N145 for a litre of PMS. Today, all the petrol stations in the country are selling at the highest point of N145 per litre. Any further hike in the cost of the commodity would likely bring about a hike in the retail price of the product at the petrol stations.
Spokesperson for the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, who confirmed the suspension of the strike to Vanguard Newspaper, however, refused to respond to enquiries of a likely increase in the price of fuel.
However, National President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said the strike action had to be suspended in the interest of the country and also to allow for further negotiations and discussions.
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