By Hamid Adedeji
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has urged oil workers under the auspices of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), to halt their planned industrial action over a labour dispute involving the Management of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), and its staff.
NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said Baru had directed its management to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issue raised by the leadership of the oil Industry unions.
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.
The industry 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, Baru 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.
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.