NUPENG, PENGASSAN Accuse NNPC Of Sacking 850 Oil Workers

Oil Output
A file photo of the refinery in Kaduna, a state in north-west Nigeria.


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have sacked 850 contract staff working in the nation’s refineries.

This is according to a statement jointly signed by the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN).

It was signed by Williams Akporeha (NUPENG National President), Ndukaku Ohaeri (PENGASSAN National President), Afolabi Olawale (NUPENG General Secretary), and Lumumba Okugbawa (PENGASSAN General Secretary).

The unions also faulted the comments purportedly made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on refineries and oil and gas workers in the country.

They accused the minister of claiming that the refineries have not been working for three years while workers have continued to receive salaries and promotions.

He was also said to have blamed the oil workers for the sorry state of the refineries and that the union threatened to go on strike when NNPC said it would sack support staff.

In their response, the unions said the purported comments were laced with fabricated misinformation, misrepresentation of facts and falsehoods.

They said such comments were uncharitable and appalling, alleging that the minister was only making attempt to blamed what they described as the policy failure, maladministration, lack of foresight, and mismanagement of the refineries on hapless workers.

“On the purported threat of the Group Managing Director of NNPC to sack workers, we wish to state here that it was actually no more a threat but that it had already been carried out with the sack of 850 support staff in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, throwing almost a thousand workers into hard financial situation without an iota of empathy or consultation with the union,” the statement said.

The unions denied the claim that they threatened to go on strike, saying they demanded to be engaged for a proper discussion on the commensurate terminal benefits of the workers who have worked for 10 to 15 years.

“If a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Group Managing Director of NNPC can dismiss contract workers that have served for more than 10 years continuously as if they are rodents, what more can we expect from lOCs?

“The monthly salaries of 25 of these contract staff put together cannot equal a typical management staff salary of the same organisation,” the statement added.

When contacted for its reaction, the NNPC told Channels Television that it would speak about the allegations on Wednesday.

Police Confirm Kidnap Of Five Oil Workers In Delta

Police Confirm Kidnap Of Five Oil Workers In Delta


Delta State Police Command has confirmed the kidnap of five oil workers on Wednesday by gunmen in the state.

The Command further urged the people of the state to provide relevant information that can help the police track down the kidnappers.

Police Public Relations Office Andrew Aniamaka confirmed the abduction to Channels Television on Saturday in Asaba, the state capital.

He explained that the hoodlums seized the workers who were on a boat while on their way to an offshore location near Ajoki, a border community between Delta and neighboring Edo State.

“We got a report from Sahara Energy that five of their staff were kidnapped by the waterside there in Koko.

“The victims were presumably returning from Ajoki, Edo State where they had gone to work when they were kidnapped by the hoodlums,” he said.

Aniamaka also informed reporters that there were reports that the kidnappers have contacted their victims’ families, requesting for ransom.

He, however, said the police were already collaborating with other security agencies in the state to apprehend them and rescue the kidnapped oil workers.

“There are also reports that the kidnappers are already demanding for ransom but whether it is true or not, the police in collaboration with the military will ensure the release of the victims.

“Let me assure the public that plans are on to ensure that the victims are rescued. The public is also advised to help the police with any information that will lead to the freedom of the abducted victims,” the Command spokesman added.

Army Rescues All Kidnapped Oil Workers

Army Rescues All Kidnapped Oil Workers
File Photo

The Nigerian Army says it has rescued all the oil workers kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists at Barno Yasu in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to the Army Spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman, a team of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) staff and their escorts returning from oil exploration were ambushed by the insurgents at about 3.00pm on Tuesday.

On receipt of the information, he said the Brigade mobilised and sent reinforcement, search and rescue party that worked and pursued the terrorists throughout the night.

Brigadier General Usman, however, noted that the Army was unable to rescue nine of its personnel and a civilian who were killed by the insurgents.

“So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the officer, eight soldiers and a civilian have who have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital”.

The team recovered a gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun, as well as two white Toyota Hilux vans taken away from the NNPC staff and one blue Hilux belonging to the CJTF.

“They also recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, several spare tyres, many jerry cans filled with petroleum, oil and lubricant; as well as various drugs, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials, reflective jackets and a Motorola handheld radio, among others,” said Usman.

The Army spokesman added that many of the terrorists were neutralised while troops are not relenting in the pursuit, search and rescue effort.

ExxonMobil Workers Go On Strike

exxonWorkers of ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, have started a three-day warning strike.

The workers are among several issues accusing the company of violating the provisions of the Local Content Act and firing Nigerian workers.

They are also accusing it of violating previous agreements it reached with their union, the Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

Should the company fail to address their grievances, the workers warned that they would start an indefinite strike on Monday.

The relationship between the workers and the company have been frosting for a while with a dispute over their welfare grabbing the headlines less than five months ago.

In December 2016, they had shut down activities at the company’s Qua Iboe Terminal to protest against its decision to fire up to 100 workers.

NUPENG Declares 3-Day Warning Strike

 NUPENG Declares 3-Day Warning StrikeThe Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has declared a three-day warning strike beginning 12 midnight, ahead of their meeting with the federal government on Wednesday.

The President of the union, Mr Igwe Achese, told journalists in Abuja after an emergency meeting of the union, that the strike is to press for the implementation of the agreement reached with the oil companies on staff welfare, mediated by the federal government in 2016.

He however explained that the continuation or otherwise of the strike beyond Wednesday, January 11, would be determined by the outcome of a joint meeting between the union and the federal government on Wednesday.

PENGASSAN Strike Continues As Discussions Hold With Ministers

Oil Workers, PENGASSAN, NUPENGThe President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria – PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Johnson says the union’s ongoing strike continues until all issues raised before the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and that of Labour are fully addressed.

Mr Johnson told journalists after a closed-door meeting at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja that the decision on whether or not to suspend the strike would be made by the national executive council of the union.

Although the key issue of redundancy in the sector is yet to be addressed at a separate meeting Tuesday with the Minister of Labour and international oil companies, presidents of both PENGASSAN and NUPENG say discussions so far have been satisfactory.

The dialogue which held at the NNPC headquarters had in attendance the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and leaders of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.

One of the issues discussed is the implementation of the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the federal government and the unions.

Also tabled for discussion were the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the state under which the oil workers operate, especially with regard to lack of power and bad roads.

Before the meeting went into closed-door, Dr. Kachikwu gave the assurance that the meeting would resolve the issues amicably.

The PENGASSAN had last week declared an industrial action over the dispute, while NUPENG postponed its action pending the outcome of this meeting.

Oil Workers Postpone Strike, Meeting With FG   

PEngassan, oil workersNigerian oil workers have postponed their proposed strike at least until Monday next week when negotiations are opened with the federal government.

Leaders of the oil workers union say the action is being put on hold until their leadership is able to meet with the government delegation to table their grievances.

That meeting was originally scheduled for today (Thursday, July 7) but has been moved to Monday because of the three day public holiday this week to celebrate Eid El Fitri.

The Ministers of Labour and Petroleum will represent the federal government at the meeting expected to hold at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

Labour Minister Meets Oil Companies, Workers Over Labour Issues

Oil companiesThe Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has advised oil companies to dialogue with their workers to prevent industrial actions and loss of jobs.

The Minister gave the advice at a meeting with oil and gas workers and their employers to resolve petitions from the workers unions on allegations ranging from indiscriminate dismissal of workers to job outsourcing.

This joint meeting followed separate meetings held with the workers, the oil companies and their contractors on the crisis.

Prior to this meeting, the Labour Minister said that he had held separate meetings with the oil companies and their employees over petitions of mistreatment.

According to him, some of the allegations against the oil companies include indiscriminate dismissal of Nigerian workers at the expense of the expatriates.

Some representatives of the oil companies said that the continued fall in the prices of oil is making them take hard decisions to sustain their operations.

“The current business environment of sustained low oil prices requires us to make tough and difficult decisions to sustain the business for a long term.

“Many of the projects we have underway are uneconomic, so our activity level is declining and we are having to make adjustments in the resourcing of our operations and our projects,” said the Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, Mr Clay Neef.

In spite of the explanation, the workers insisted that the actions of the oil companies are not in harmony with what happens in other African countries.

The President of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Igwe Achese, made this assertion.

“The oil price drop did not only hit Nigeria alone. It is a global issue and Nigeria is not the only country producing oil in Africa.

“Angola had the same issue and other African countries, those countries are not experiencing the level of job loses that we are experiencing in Nigeria.,” he said.

Oil workers have threatened to go on strike if the issues raised in their petitions, including the alleged indiscriminate dismissal of workers, are not addressed.

Oil Workers Protest Non-payment Of Salaries

Oil WorkersWorkers of the Sea Wolf Oil Field Services have staged a protest to demand payment for a back log of their salaries, covering the past 22 months.

The oil workers, who were at the office of the Asset Management Corporation, said that the situation has led to the death and hospitalisation of some of their colleagues.

Trouble started in 2011, when the Asset Management Corporation took over the asset and liabilities of their company.

They are demanding that the management of the corporation ensure the payment of their salaries.

They promised not to leave the vicinity of the corporation until their demands were met, as they had made their demands known for over nine days.

When contacted, officials of the Asset Management Company in Abuja refused to comment on the workers claims.


NUPENG suspends strike over Shell’s anti-labour practices

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the picketing of Shell Petroleum Development Company formations nationwide following the intervention by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu.

Shell's office in Port-Harcourt
People walk past Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Nigeria

In a statement signed by the officials of the union and the management of Shell, the minister of labour directed the management of Shell to recall all sacked officers and members on or before December 4, 2012.

NUPENG had last week paralyzed business activities of Shell offices over alleged anti-labour practices by management of the oil company.

The union accused Shell of being the major vendor of enslaving Nigerians through exploitative contract and agency labour employment otherwise known as outsourcing.

It explained that the contract workers in Shell have no conditions of service, adding that when their contracts are terminated, they are not paid severance benefits other than one month’s salary irrespective of the number of years in service.

In a bid to forestall any industrial crisis, the labour minister waded into the dispute shortly after the union leaders threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.

At the meeting the minister directed management of Shell to immediately recall the sacked union members in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.

The meeting also resolved that NUPENG shall seek the leave of the court to withdraw all cases pending against SHELL.

The meeting is expected to be reconvened on January 31st to look at areas of progress made so far.

NUPENG agrees to resume fuel distribution in Abuja

Abuja will not be seeing long queues from friday as the national union of petroleum and natural gas workers nupeng has lifted the strike.

Petrol tankers are now allowed into the city to dispense fuel to petrol stations.

The federal government reached an agreement with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the Nigeria Labour Congress and oil marketers during a closed door meeting in Abuja that lasted for over 9 hours.

In a communique signed by all parties and read by the Minister of Labour Emeka Wogu, it was resolved that all the issues raised over subsidy payments, non payment of salaries among others will be looked into and reviewed in 2weeks.

NUPENG begins strike today

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike over the failure of the federal government to pay subsidy for imported petroleum products and the poor state of the country’ refineries among other issues.

The group disclosed this at a media briefing addressed by its national president, Achese Igwe, in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the NUPENG president said the union will begin its planned strike today in sympathy with their members sacked on Wednesday by the MRS Oil and Gas Plc.

Mr Igwe said the strike will continue until the MRS management reinstates the sacked drivers.

He said: “Despite the promises and understanding reached between the union and the management of MRS, the company still went ahead to sack our members, about 2,500 tanker drivers.

“The action of the company is not acceptable to us as a union.”

He said the strike would be restricted to the Lagos zone, which includes Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and Kwara States.

Other parts of the country depend on this area for supply of fuel; therefore, it would be more like a national strike.

Mr Achese said that other parts of the country might join the strike in sympathy and solidarity.