Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has indicated it would step in to stop oil workers under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) from going on a planned nationwide industrial action which could affect operations in the country’s oil industry.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, according to a statement from the corporation, has urged the oil workers to hold on to their planned industrial action over a labour dispute involving the management of international oil company – Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) – operating in Nigeria, and its staff.
The statement was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.
Ughamadu, stated that Baru had directed the management of the corporation to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issue raised by the leadership of the unions.
The unions had recently enlisted the National Assembly; Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; NNPC; and Department of State Services (DSS), to intercede in a brewing stalemate between Chevron 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 unions also recently put its members on alert to proceed on a nationwide strike, fearing the new manpower services contracts may not serve the interests its members.
But in a bid to halt the proposed industrial action, Baru appealed to the unions not to do anything that would disrupt the industrial harmony that the industry reportedly enjoys at the moment.
He said the gains the sector had recorded in the recent past could be frittered away inadvertently with the strike.
Further, Baru expressed optimism that the current dispute would soon be amicably settled.
Also, with regards to supply of petroleum products, notably petrol, the corporation allayed 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.
It assured that it currently has adequate volume of petroleum products stored in its reserves across the country to take care of the national demand.