COVID-19: NUPENG, PENGASSAN Warn Against Attempts By Oil Companies To Sack Workers

An oil pumpjack operates in Signal Hill, south of Los Angeles, California on April 21, 2020, a day after oil prices dropped to below zero as the oil industry suffers steep falls in benchmark crudes due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Frederic J. BROWN / AFP.

 

The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have said that any attempt by multinational and indigenous Oil and Gas Companies to downsize, sack, or introduce indecent work system on its members would be resisted.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the leadership of the unions stated that they sympathise with the employers over the negative impacts COVID-19 is having on the industry and business operations, but the moves if not properly checked, will further complicate the already impoverished state of Nigerian Oil and Gas Workers.

“The leadership of NUPENGASSAN condemn these moves and vow to resist them with all our might, as the moves are seen as unfair to the selfless and patriotic services of the Nigerian Oil and Gas workers to these Companies and the Nation over these past highly productive years and even when these workers are still fully participating in the frontline of the struggle against the pandemic rendering essential services.

These moves if not properly checked and managed by relevant authorities whose guidelines are being continually disobeyed by these Organisations will further complicate the already impoverished state of Nigerian Oil and Gas Workers, their immediate family and others depending on the workers’ incomes, for a living.”

The unions also called on the Federal Government to “urgently nip these ugly trends in the bud to avoid many untoward and damaging consequences of the actions and reactions.

The statement added that the unions will be forced to carry out an action that will affect the entire industry if the trend is not halted.

“The Federal Government and all its relevant Agencies are further put on notice that NUPENGASSAN might be forced to precipitate an action that will affect drastically the entire industry if this ugly trend is not halted and erring Organisations called to order.

“We earnestly implore these Companies that in the same manner and spirit they are making donations for the fight against COVID-19, they should also spare some kind thoughts for their Workers and strive to keep them alive and on the job so as not to create social upheavals that would be more devastating than the COVID19 pandemic.”

PENGASSAN Backs Sack Of Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday said it is in support of the House of Representatives’ demand for the immediate resignation of the nation’s service chiefs.

The oil union, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, said the service chiefs have failed in their duty to “tackle the rising wave of criminality and alarming increase of insecurity” in the country.

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The union said it was reiterating its call for a state of emergency to be declared on the country’s security situation.

“We cannot continue to guarantee the current industrial peace in our sector should there be no improvement on the part of the federal government in arresting this trend as recorded in 2019,” the statement said.

Address Pipeline Vandalism, Crude Oil Theft, PENGASSAN Tells NNPC Boss, Kyari

Pipeline Security: NUPENG Recommends Re-engagement of Ex-Militants

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has asked Mr Mele Kyari to address challenges associated with pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft and inadequate infrastructure.

Mr Kyari replaced Dr Maikanti Baru as the 19th Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday.

The Association in a congratulatory massage signed by its General Secretary, Lumumba. I. Okugbawa, described Mr. Kyari’s appointment as well-deserved and a recognition of his 27 years contributions and did not come as a surprise to the Association.

“Your appointment did not come to our Association as a surprise, because it is a testament to your hard work, dedication to duty and exemplary leadership quality.

”GMD Sir, we agree that the Nation’s oil and gas industry is on a steady progression to the next level. However, the challenges associated with pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, inadequate infrastructure, pricing uncertainties, and the obsolete Refineries as well as the contentious fuel subsidy issues and resting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) are issues the Nigerian masses expect the new NNPC Board to champion.”

The association also commended the recent-past GMD Dr Maikanti Baru for his contributions to the growth of the industry said that history will remember him for his good works that brought stability to the industry in terms of Industrial Relations management and free flow of refined products.

PENGASSAN President, Johnson Dies In Abuja

 

The President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Francis Johnson is dead.

Johnson died in the early hours of Friday at the National Hospital Abuja, after a brief illness.

This was disclosed in a statement jointly signed by the Deputy President of the Association, Frank Esanubi, and the Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa.

Johnson was on the final lap of his six-year tenure as PENGASSAN President before his demise.

“On behalf of the National Executive Council (NEC), Central Working Committee (CWC), members and staff of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), we announce the untimely and painful death of Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, President PENGASSAN in the early hours of Friday 31st May 2019 at National Hospital Abuja, after a brief illness.

“Late Comrade F.O. Johnson until his passing on was a staff of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and was on the final lap of his eventful and transformational six years tenure as President PENGASSAN, having been elected to that position in June 2014 and re-elected in 2017.

“Comrade Johnson will be remembered by his comrades, co-workers, family and friends for being thoughtful, humorous, compassionate and transparent as he touched the lives of so many and was the very embodiment of strength, patience, and perseverance,” the statement read in parts.

The statement added that Johnson’s attributes propelled him to develop a deep connection with nature, zest for life and the total transformation of PENGASSAN National Secretariat.

He is said to have initiated the e-library and Events Resources Centres in all of the Zonal offices of the association.

Burial rites will be communicated to the general public soon.

NNPC Asks NUPENG, PENGASSAN To Suspend Planned Strike

NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

 

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has asked oil workers to suspend their planned strike over a labour dispute involving the Management of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and its staff.

The unions are the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

In a statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu said, the corporation’s GMD had directed its Management to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issue raised by the leadership of the Oil Industry unions.

He said, the unions had recently called on the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC, the Department of State Services (DSS), to intercede in a brewing impasse between CNL and its staff in Nigeria over the company’s disclosure that the contracts with all its manpower services providers would expire by the end of October 2018.

According to him, the unions last Wednesday put its members on red alert fearing the new manpower services contracts may not serve the interests its members.

While thanking the oil workers for their exemplary conduct and show of support through the years, the GMD appealed to the Unions not to do anything that would disrupt the industrial harmony that has pervaded the sector, saying the gains of recent past, if care is not taken, can be frittered away inadvertently.

Dr. Baru expressed optimism that the current dispute would soon be amicably settled.

Meanwhile, the NNPC has allayed the concerns of motorists and other consumers of petroleum products over possible hiccups in supply in parts of the country due to the oil workers’ ultimatum, assuring that NNPC holds adequate storage of petroleum products across the country to take care of the national demand.

Plateau Killings: Change Your Strategies, PENGASSAN Tells Security Agencies

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has asked security agencies to improve their efforts and strategies in bringing an end to violence and wanton killings across the country.

PENGASSAN’s National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Fortune Obi, said this in a statement on Thursday, in reaction to the latest attack on communities in Jos, Plateau State, which left at least 100 persons killed.

“PENGASSAN notes that the Security Agencies, especially the police seem helpless in the face of the mindless and unprovocative killing of innocent Nigerians.

“We, therefore, call for more recruitment into all arms of the Security Agencies, including the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and also advise the Security Agencies to review their strategies to put an end to the killing.

“The Security Agencies should improve their relationship with the communities to enable them to get necessary information before any attacks”, it said.

Furthermore, the group condemned the killings, especially as the cattle breeders association, Meyatti Allah had allegedly said the killing was a reprisal following the rustling of several cows.

“We equally frown at the statement by a spokesman Meyatti Allah that the killings were in response to rustling of about 100 cattle in the area.

“This is not an excuse for lawlessness in a country that has government and security apparatus to handle issues,” the company said.

While commiserating with families of the victims, the people and Government of Plateau State, PENGASSAN, however, called on the government and security agencies to take immediate action.

It said beyond condemning the killings, the government ought to deploy a special squad of military and other forces permanently to troubled prone areas to bring a permanent stop to it.

“Besides, we implore the Government to deploy a special squad of military and other forces permanently to trouble-prone areas of Benue, Taraba and Plateau states. The Federal Government should rise above just condemning such killings and courageously do all it takes to protect the lives and properties of citizens which is the whole essence of governance”.

PENGASSAN Worried Over Continuous Black Soot In Port Harcourt    

Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – PENGASSAN

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government to stop illegal refineries causing black soot in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

The Union says that the soot which is in form of black smoke covers the entire state capital causing respiratory problems being experienced by inhabitants in the city which has health implications worse than Ebola.

PENGASSAN through its spokesman, Fortune Obi, says that the issues are not being addressed because most of the people affected are still performing their daily task but experts have confirmed the soot to be carcinogenic.

“The black soot settles on everything and finds its way into the corners of living rooms no matter how hard people try to stop it. Food items in Port Harcourt markets are as well not spared from getting mixed with this deadly soot that is ever present everywhere,” he stated.

He added that PENGASSAN in collaboration with other concerned bodies and citizens have severally created awareness to call the attention of the government to act swiftly and put an end to whatever is the source of this killer soot.

“Majority believed that the source of this soot is due to ‘’incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons as well as asphalt processing, burning of barges/vessels used for oil bunkering and illegal artisanal refinery operations” in some parts of the state.

“There is a need for collaboration among all stakeholders to end this environmental hazard. We, therefore, call on the State and the Federal Government to put a strategic action in place to finally address this black soot and put an end to whatever is the source.

“This is not the time to play politics with people’s lives. The Federal and State Governments, security agencies as well as all agencies in charge of environment including National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its Rivers State counterpart, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSRDA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other agencies handling related issues should tow a defined and safe path in handling illegal oil vessels as well as the criminal act of illegal refining of crude oil that are said to be the key reason of this menace.

“The governments should also involve the locals and possibly constitute them into Environmental councils to monitor their areas for any possible illegal refining of the crude and such other dangerous acts that are inimical to human existence.”

Mr Obi has called on the Federal Government to arrest those committing these crimes.

PENGASSAN Suspends Nationwide Strike

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has suspended its planned nationwide strike.

The decision to suspend the strike which was planned to commence 11:59 pm today (Monday) followed the intervention of the Director of State Security Service, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.

PENGASSAN giving reasons for the strike had earlier alleged anti-labour practices against some of its members by some indigenous oil companies.

The management of Neconde Energy Limited after the negotiation with the DSS, the Federal Government represented by the Minister of Labour and Minister of State for Petroleum offered a letter of recall to the sacked employees of the company.

Neconde Energy Limited was represented by its Medical Director and legal consultants. The management also agreed to allow the union to exist in the company.

PENGASSAN National PRO, Fortune Obi who disclosed the decision of the association to suspend the strike to Channels Television on Monday, added that the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, therefore, agreed to endeavor to resolve anti-union posture by other indigenous companies and marginal field operators while a meeting was fixed for the second week of January 2018 to look at the issues.

Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – PENGASSAN

Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – PENGASSAN

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has explained the rationale behind the decision to suspend its nationwide strike.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the General Secretary of the union, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, shortly after a press conference in Abuja.

Okugbawa said PENGASSAN had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government, following the allegations of the anti-union attitude of some companies, as well as the intimidation and dismissal of some of its members.

He said the union, however, suspended the industrial action after the intervention of the Federal Government and the reversal of the decision by the companies.

Read full statement below;

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) issued a seven (7) day ultimatum which expired on Sunday, December 17, 2017, with respect to anti-union posture of indigenous companies and marginal field operators, including Neconde which transferred employees at will and inconsiderably, sacked and intimidated union members.

Despite all entreaties by the association, the management of Neconde was recalcitrant and adamant. As a matter of fact, the union directed its members across zones to embark on a nationwide strike.

Going by the aforementioned, the Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, engaged both the leadership of PENGASSAN and the Neconde management.

The Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, representatives of the NNPC, and representatives of other government agencies were also in attendance.

Neconde management agreed to unconditionally recall the sacked staff and take steps to allow their employees to be members of the union.

It was also agreed at the meeting that the resolutions reached will be reviewed after three months to determine the adherence of Neconde management to the details of the resolution.

The meeting also resolved to address the anti-union posture of other indigenous companies and their abuse of court processes to stall the resolution of issues, including Specialty Drilling Fluid (SDF), CETCO, Century Energy, Oil Data Services, Frontier Oil, Universal Energy, Mobil Producing Nigeria and Fugro by the third week of January 2018, to avert a full-blown industrial crisis and ensure that they abide by the Nigeria Constitution, extant labour laws and ILO conventions.

In view of the above and in the spirit of the yuletide, on behalf of the National Executive Council (NEC) of PENGASSAN, the Central Working Committee (CWC) hereby suspends the nationwide strike with immediate effect and all members are to resume normal duties immediately.

We commend Nigerians for their understanding and continue to promise to act in a morally justified way that will enhance the dignity of labour and reduce unemployment in the country.

Fuel Queues Return Over PENGASSAN’s Nationwide Strike

Just as Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief after fuel supply was restored last week, fuel queues are back to petrol stations in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos and other parts of the country.

This is following the strike action declared by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) last week after the group threatened to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from 11:59 pm today (Monday).

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The union’s action follows the expiration of an ultimatum it gave to the Federal Government to address issues which they consider detrimental to the welfare of their members.

In a statement last week, PENGASSAN ordered the shutting down of all oil and gas installations, resulting in the disruptions to fuel supply and distribution across the country.

PENGASSAN giving reasons for the strike action alleged anti-labour practices against some of its members by some indigenous oil companies.

Other reasons include the alleged sack of workers by one of the oil companies due to their involvement in union activities and non-remittance of workers’ taxes to the PFAs by the same company.

PENGASSAN’s spokesman, Fortune Obi, told Channels Television that the strike became inevitable following the failure of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, to resolve the industrial dispute.

Last week, many woke up to long queues at petrol stations in some cities across Nigeria, with the Independent Marketers and the NNPC trading blame on the cause of the fuel scarcity.

This week, the long queues persist as the PENGASSAN nationwide strike commences.

NASS Must Reject Sale Of Petroleum Assets – PENGASSAN

NASS Must Reject Sale Of Petroleum Assets – PENGASSAN
File photo

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has asked the National Assembly to reject the sale of profitable oil and gas assets by the Federal Government to fund the 2018 budget.

PENGASSAN National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Fortune Obi, on Wednesday said a majority of Nigerians rejected the idea when it was first proposed in 2016.

Obi, who was reacting to a report on the revealed plans by the government to give up the nation’s possessions as a panacea to fix the budget, said the union was in support of any other model to fund the budget.

He added that selling petroleum assets as scrap was not in the national interest and called on the legislature to reject the plan.

Obi also described the move as a ploy to hand over “our collective commonwealth to a few individuals and further impoverish majority of Nigerians.”

He, however, advised that instead of selling the assets, government should look for other ways of funding the budget such as plugging loopholes and leakages in its finances.

“We will not allow the commonwealth of the country to be given away to cronies of the government all in the name of the sale of the assets in the industry to fund the budget.

“The Government should critically evaluate the assets to look at their viability and profitability. Profitable assets, such as such as NLNG and shares in the Upstream Oil and Gas JV Operations, that has become a huge revenue earner for the country, should be kept by the government to the benefit of the Nigerian majority.

“We also advise the government to endeavour to repair assets that are in the state of disrepair but not to sell them as scrap to some opportunists in the clothes of businessmen and short-sighted politicians,” he said.

The PENGASSAN spokesman maintained that the idea does not reflect the national agenda, stressing that “no nation can develop, survive or feel secure after selling all its national assets.”

PENGASSAN Supports Senate’s Probe Of NNPC Over Kachikwu’s Allegations

Oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have said they are in support of Senate’s decision to investigate the allegations made by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu in a letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The workers in a statement on Monday also warned that they will stop non-executive officials from using top management positions in the national oil company to settle cronies at the detriment of it staff.

The statement which was signed by the Group Secretary of the Group Executive Council (GEC) of PENGASSAN in NNPC, Sulaiman Sulaiman said Nigerians including the NNPC are waiting to hear the outcome of the investigations.

“They, therefore, supported the decision of the Senate to thoroughly investigate the allegations in the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu against the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru on the awards of the $25billion contracts and new appointments in the national oil company, adding that Nigerians will be waiting to hear the outcome of these sensitive investigations.”

READ ALSO: Senator Asks Buhari To Step Down As Petroleum Minister

The oil workers in the statement also vowed to resist the attempt by officials who are not designated for the administration of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to meddle with the affairs of the association.

“We shall continue to vehemently resist attempts in meddling into day-to-day running of the organization by non-executive officials of the Corporation.

“Problems will continue to occur as long as the Chairman of the Board will continue to meddle into day-to-day running of the organizations, which is a Management role. Any attempt to allow this to happen will spell doom for the country and create a window for abuse,” the statement read in part.

According to the workers, contrary to claim in the letter written by Kachikwu to the President, staffs are no longer afraid to talk or express their opinion, especially with the domestication of whistleblowing policy and re-constitution and launching of the Anti-Corruption Committee by the current GMD.
“In terms of workplace harmony, NNPC has enjoyed the best industrial atmosphere under the present Top Management of NNPC. So far there is zero record of industrial crisis or shutdown, which is the first of its kind in the history of struggle in oil and gas in Nigeria. Thanks to the efforts of the current GMD and the GED Corporate Services,” they said.