Oil workers unions on Wednesday shut down the operations of Nigerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC) nationwide. The unions are Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja were stopped from entering their offices. Attempt to get the union leaders to speak proved abortive as they all declined to speak to the media. One of the NNPC staff, who spoke to the NAN on condition of anonymity, said the union shut the office claiming that they were not consulted on the process of unbundling of the corporation. “
We heard that our leaders are in a meeting and they will brief us by 4 p.m,’’ she said NAN reports that there was police presence and most of the workers were seen sitting outside the towers awaiting directives from the union leaders. It would be recalled that NUPENG and PENGASSAN in separate statements on Tuesday said the move to unbundle the corporation was an attempt to provoke the oil and gas workers and cause industrial unrest in the country.
“We condemn the unilateral action of the Minister of State, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, as the decision is not in consonance with the laws establishing the NNPC. “The unbundling and rebranding of NNPC as announced by the Minister of State is another public policy change which is not consistent with the Act and Laws establishing NNPC and will be resisted by oil and gas workers in the country.
“ NUPENG will not tolerate a situation whereby the unbundled companies will now hide under the cover to start disengaging its workers,’’ it said NAN also reports that Kachikwu on Tuesday announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the unbundling of the corporation into four units. The units were Upstream Company, Downstream Company, Refinery Company, Gas and Power Company.
According to him, the Upstream Company will now comprise NPDC and the IDSL, while the Downstream Company consists of Retail, NPMC and NPSC, The Refinery Company, he said, would consist of WRPC, KRPC and PHRC, while the Gas and Power is now made up of NGPTC, NGMC and Gas and Power Investment.
Kachikwu said the Federal Government had approved the appointment of Chief Executives for the companies in person of Bello Rabiu as Chief Executive Officer of the Upstream Company. Others are: Henry Ikem Obih for Downstream; Anibor Kragha for Refineries and Saidu Mohammed for Gas and Power.
Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, confirmed that the protesting workers also denied him entry into his office. He said that when the management of the corporation met, it would comment on the development.(NAN)