By Esenvosa Izah
Lagos – The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed concern over the health and safety of its members in the informal sector as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage countries.
The Union’s National President, Mr Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Mr Afolabi Olawale, raised the concerns on Tuesday in Lagos.
The duo said its members included the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, Petrol Stations and Petroleum Products Depot Workers, and others who in the course of serving the nation become highly vulnerable to the virus.
The Union said it might 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.
“”At this crucial time, NUPENG is seriously monitoring the unfolding situation, while also putting into account the safety and welfare of these vulnerable and integral segments of our membership which are of paramount concern to us.
“”They include the Petroleum Tanker Drivers; Petrol Station Workers; Petroleum Depot Workers; Independent Marketers Employees; Oil and Gas Suppliers; Surface Tank Kerosene Peddlers; Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, ” the duo said.
The union leaders urged its members and other stakeholders in the Downstream Sector of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry to diligently follow international protocols.
“”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.
“”Also, 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.
“”Also, keep the socio-economic activities of the country alive industrially, domestically and commercially.
“”It is our prayer that stakeholders in the health sector across the globe will find a lasting solution to this scourge, so that the world can be safe and healthy for us to live in,’’ the NUPENG officials said.