NUPENG To Go On Mass Action Over Loss Of Jobs In Oil Industry

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The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 handed down a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government within
which to halt the ongoing mass sack of oil workers by International Oil
Companies (IOCs) or be prepared to face a mass action that would worsen the
country’s economic recession.

Handing down the threat in a 
communique issued by the Central Working Committee (CWC) at a
meeting  in Warri, Delta State, NUPENG
noted that over 3,000 workers have so far been sacked by oil majors and service
companies which are closing shop on account of the current recession.
NUPENG National President, Igwe Achese, who threw more light
on the plight of oil workers in the country since the recession, blamed the
Muhammadu Buhari -led Federal Government for aggravating the crisis in the oil
industry by its failure to meet its Joint Venture (JV) cash calls and stifling
the populace by concentrating on fight against corruption while the economy
suffers.
He said, “as I address you, Chevron has wound up its Eastern
operations and its offices have been closed. 
A total of 1,500 workers were
sacked without their entitlements and nobody is saying anything. 
As we speak,
many companies have left, while others are winding up.
“ExxonMobil has asked its contract staff to go, that it can
no longer pay them. 
Pan Ocean, Sapiem, Grand Petroleum, Hercules Offshore, all
around Warri, have closed shop. About 3,000 workers have already been sacked by
various oil companies,” he said.
“The Federal Government should act fast to avert further
loss of jobs. 
There is too much redundancy in the oil industry. 
NUPENG will
take all necessary action to drive home its demands if government fails to act
in 21 days. 
We are 100 per cent in support of the fight against corruption but
there must be respite for Nigerians.
“Right now, our members and even those in other sectors are
no longer able to pay school fees for their children and even afford rents.
Worse still, those being sacked now are so treated without commitment to proper
terminal benefits,” Achese stated.
On perceived government failure in reviving the oil
industry, the union called for urgent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill
(PIB) and the Federal Government regularization of its JV cash calls while
vehemently kicking against sale of national assets and asking industry
regulators to wake up to their responsibilities.
He said, “the CWC in session notes that it is a shame that
Ghana, which recently discovered oil has passed its PIB into law. We frown at
the politics that beclouds passage of the PIB in the past eight years when it
was first sent to the National Assembly.
“CWC frowns at the refusal of and delay in payment of JV
cash calls to the multinationals, which has created serious liquidity
challenges resulting in negotiating redundancies almost on daily basis.
“We x-rayed state of the economy and believe a lot needs to
be done to put it on track. 
“The Federal Government should urgently address the
challenges posed by inflation, which has risen to 17.9 per cent and the
non-payment of workers’ salaries at local and state levels.”
NUPENG further called on government through its relevant
agencies to stop the kidnapping of citizens with introduction of new
technologies to track perpetrators of such acts and bring them to book.

It, however, commended the successes recorded so far in the
fight against Boko Haram in the North East, adding that government should boost
morale of its fighting force by enhancing welfare and armaments in order to
completely win the war.

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