Petroleum marketers, particularly relevant authorities of the Tanker Drivers Association have directed their members to immediately suspend the strike they embarked upon in the past one week and to immediately commence lifting and supply of petroleum products to the in particular and South East in general.
The above directive was sequel to a resolution by 15-man Committee set up by Imo State Government to resolve all issues agitating the mind of the Tanker Drivers Association in Imo State and consequently the strike.
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma had set up a 15-member Committee made up of seven from Government and eight from the Concerned Union/ Petroleum marketers after meeting with the marketers in Government House Owerri on Wednesday.
While the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu led the other six members from the side of the government, Chief Billy Harry G. led the other seven members from the Union of petroleum marketers.
The Committee isolated three key areas of concern for discussion – demolition of petrol station, revenue collection and activities of some government agencies after which they resolved to call off the tanker drivers’ strike.
On the demolition of Petroleum Station in Orlu, it was resolved that the Committee should visit the station to access the extent of damage and advise Government on the appropriate compensation to be paid.
To mitigate the complaint about revenue collection, the Committee resolved that all revenue collection from Petroleum Marketers by Imo Internal Revenue Service be suspended forthwith pending the report of the Committee on a holistic approach to revenue collection.
The Committee looked at the activities of OCDA, ENTRACO, IMSSA, and resolved to consider allegations of multiple charges, alleged harassment of tanker drivers and highhandedness by the agencies and come up with comprehensive solution to mitigate the problems.
All the 15 members in Committee signed to suspend the strike and for amicable resolution of all outstanding matters.
Earlier, Governor Uzodimma had in a closed door meeting appealed to the Association to see reason to call off the strike, especially over the sufferings of Imo people.
He made them to understand that Imo people are already going through harrowing experience, occasioned by insecurity, inflation and other challenges and that they should have a rethink.
He appealed to their consciences to see the citizens as their brothers and sisters and “not use their strike as a weapon against the Shared Prosperity Government in Imo State else it will be misinterpreted to be a political witch-haunt and sabotage against the Government.”
The governor reminded them that his administration is not out to stiffle businesses but to help them grow, noting that he has always taken the marketers as partners.
He assured that he will abide by the resolution reached towards making peace so long as they are possibilities that are implementable.
He thanked them for coming and asked them to always see him as their friend and partner.
Chief Harry in his remarks thanked the Governor for finding time to meet with the Union leaders and expressed confidence that all the issues would be resolved amicably.