NUPENG, PENGASSAN Divided Over Planned strike

NUPENGThere appears to be a division between unions representing oil workers in Nigeria.

This comes ahead of a planned strike to protest the alleged unfair treatment of oil workers.

The South West Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tokunbo Korodo said a meeting with representatives of the Federal Government, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday has been shifted till July 11.

He noted that NUPENG remains open to the option of dialogue to ensure Nigerians are not made to suffer unnecessarily.

However, the National Public Relations Officer, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Mr Emmanuel Ojugbana, confirmed to Channels Television that all is now set for the planned strike.

He added that the gradual method of shutting down activities and operations in the oil and gas sector is being adopted by its members.

He also said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) will also be affected during the strike.

Oil Workers Shut Down Refinery, NNPC Facilities In Rivers

NNPCThe Port Harcourt refinery and all NNPC facilities have been shut down in Rivers State following the controversies surrounding the purported unbundling of the oil corporation.

This was confirmed to Channels Television on Wednesday by the Group Secretary of the National Union Of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Uche Amara, in Abuja where the union leaders are currently meeting.

According to him, the unions were not just concerned about the unbundling procedure which lacked due process, but also other labour matters that needed the attention of the Federal government.

‘Down Tool’

The ‘down tool’ is coming after oil workers shut down the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) nationwide until further notice.

The decision was reached on Tuesday at a meeting of the Group Executive Councils of NUPENG and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

Meanwhile, oil workers have shut down Kaduna refinery over the purported unbundling of the NNPC, asking the government to reverse the decision.

Channels Television’s correspondent in Kaduna State said that the workers locked up the refinery gate, preventing management staff and others from entering the refinery.

In an attempt to address the issues that had resulted after media reports linked him to the statement about the purported unbundling, the Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that the NNPC would not be unbundled but reorganised.

‘Drastic Drop’ In Activities At Depots Responsible For Scarcity – NUPENG

NUPENGThe Lagos Zonal Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tokunbo Korodo, on Monday attributed the return of fuel scarcity to the ‘drastic drop’ in the loading activities in the loading depot.

He noted that most of the depots have been loading well for the past one week adding that “some are even rationing”.

Speaking via a telephone on Sunrise Daily, Mr Korodo, said that when the depots run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are not loading well, “it gives room to the independent marketers we have at Apapa to be selling above the pump price

Mr Korodo said the unavailability of the Premium Motor Spirit is responsible for the rationing by depots across the country.

“The PPMC headquarters is supposed to pump to Ejigbo and also to Ibadan and other axis of Region 2B but they are not pumping because they don’t have enough stock.

“And if they don’t have enough stock, there depots will also be operating at a dormant capacity”, he added.

He further noted that only the PPMC can tell Nigerians what is responsible for the shortage of the product, adding that “with the way things are going, we need urgency to curtail this spread.”

“The problem is the marketers, dealers are now coming to Lagos to pick and they are ready to buy (the product) above the pump price”, he said.

No Need To Panic

The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company has asked the Nigerian populace to calm down as petroleum products will be available in the fuel stations soon.

The MD of PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, said that about four vessels containing 30,000 tonnes of PMS arrived in the country on Sunday and the agency is doing all it can to ensure that the product is distributed efficiently.

Queues returned to the fuel stations in the last week and many motorists have been complaining about the seeming worsening situation in fuel supply.

Oil Workers Suspend Nationwide Strike

Oil workers

Nigeria’s oil workers’ unions have suspended their nationwide strike earlier embarked on in protest of several unresolved issues with the government.

The decision to call-off the strike was arrived at on Friday in a close-door meeting in Abuja between representatives of the union and the Federal Government delegation. The meeting lasted almost 12 hours.

A joint communique was issued at the end of the meeting by the leaders of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the government’s delegation led by the Supervising Labour Minister, Tanimu Turaki.

Nigerian Oil workers had commenced an indefinite strike to protest alleged unfair labour practice and non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

According to officials of the NUPENG and the PENGASSAN, the government have refused to implement agreements reached with the unions on these issues.

At the meeting, the Supervising Minister promised the unions of government’s commitment to resolving all issues they raised, but the striking workers expressed doubt on the willingness of the international oil companies to implement resolutions of their meetings.

Long queues returned to petrol stations in Abuja, the nation’s capital city and other cities including Kaduna, as motorists engaged in panic buying of petrol, while unionists continue to chant solidarity songs, promising to enforce their industrial action unless government takes steps to address the issues.

The House of Representatives says the petroleum industry bill will be passed before the end of the 7th Assembly.

The spokesman of the House, Zakari Mohammed, told reporters on Thursday that the PIB report would be considered when the House resumes from its recess on January 13.

On June 2, the House of Representatives said it would do its best to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill “is passed soon”.

However, since that promise was made at the 3rd Downstream Stakeholders’ Conference of the House Committee on Petroleum Downstream in Abuja on Monday, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, till date, the Bill has still not been passed.