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Another Fuel Scarcity Looms As Oil Workers Threaten Strike

fuel scarcity looms

By Dipo Olowookere

Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to go on strike if the Federal Government fails to enforce the implementation an agreement reached among the tripartite partners in the industry.

The association has already written to the FG via the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr Chris Ngige, lamenting that since the agreement was signed over a month ago, there was not much progress or commitment towards implementing its tenets.

In the letter dated August 22, 2016 and signed by the acting General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Comrade Lumumba Ighotemu Okugbawa, the union urged Mr Ngige to intervene by calling on the defaulting managements who have refused to implement the agreement, to order so as to avert another round of nationwide strike.

Copies of the letter were sent to the Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) and the General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

According to PENGASSAN, the agreement was reached at the end of the reconciliation meetings held at the instance of the Minister with PENGASSAN, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and other stakeholders on July 12, 14 and 21, 2016 in Abuja.

PENGASSAN listed the defaulting companies as Mobil Producing Nigeria Contract Staff Forum, Fugro Nigeria Limited, Petrostuff Nigeria, Tecon, Frontier Oil Limited, Universal Energy Resources Limited, Pan Ocean, Halliburton Energy Services Nigeria Limited, CISCON, and Baker Hughes among others.

“It is over a month now since the last communiqué was reached and we can say in summation that no much progress has been achieved. This of course is making our members restive and we are under tremendous pressure to bring about a total resolution on all the contending issues.

“We are constrained therefore to note with great dismay that most of the companies are foot-dragging and have resorted to time-wasting tactics in order to deliberately frustrate the process,” the union said in the letter.

The union said it was not in their interest for Nigerians to undergo another fuel crisis, especially at this time, but if nothing is done about the agreement, they would be left with no other option than to embark on the strike.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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