Nigeria: Federal Govt Health Workers Resume Negotiation Today

A protest by Nigerian health workers.

Health workers, under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Healthcare Professional Associations, will today resume negotiation with the Federal Government. National President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, who commended members for their doggedness and ability to hold on in the face of threats and harassment while the strike lasted, noted that the suspension of the strike was desirable in the event of the prevailing circumstances and for the protection of its members.

In another development, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday gave a 21-day ultimatum to employers in the Nigerian oil and gas sector over alleged gross impoverishment and anti-labour practices.Their anger, the oil workers said, are the continuous casualisation, indecent and precarious working conditions of oil and gas workers, ranging from refusal to allow unionisation, collective bargaining negotiation, non-payment of end of contract benefits, among other anti-labour practices.

In pursue of this, NUPENG has issued a 21-day ultimatum, beginning from today, to the IOCs and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), expressing its displeasure over failure of the employers of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) members to implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) reached with the union since 2016.

NUPENG's National President, Mr. Williams Akporeha, who spoke at a press conference at the weekend, said: "This is not only criminal but we see it as a slap on Nigeria and its government. If these companies have little or no respect for our institution and extant labour laws, we will take the battle to their respective global boardroom and expose their nefarious activities to their global clients."

Meanwhile, the National President of NARTO, Kassim Bataiya, in a phone interview with The Guardian, denied the allegation.He said the reason they have not implemented parts of the service agreement with the petroleum tanker drivers was because of the outstanding freight bills marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) owe their members since 2015."We did not refuse to honour PTD deliberately. We have never failed to implement what we have signed," he said.

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