Thursday, March 10, 2016

NNPC restructuring: Workers stop fuel supply, shut NNPC headquarters

The nationwide scarcity of petrol worsened on Wednesday as oil workers embarked on a full-scale industrial action, which led to the shutdown of the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja as well product depots, mega filling stations and other critical facilities.
NNPC restructuring: Workers stop fuel supply, shut NNPC headquarters
Members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria during a protest in Abuja on Wednesdsay.

The workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, who gathered at the corporation’s headquarters early in the morning, shut the NNPC in protest against the restructuring of the national oil firm by the Federal Government and immediately embarked on a nationwide industrial action.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had on Tuesday evening announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the restructuring of the NNPC into seven new divisions, comprising 20 subsidiaries.

But the oil workers said they were aggrieved because they were not carried along in the entire process.

One of our correspondents gathered from some marketers in Lagos that the poor fuel supply situation was exacerbated by the directive of the unions to their operations personnel at the depots in the metropolis not to issue tickets for loading of products to the marketers.

A marketer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The petrol supply situation in Lagos and its environs became worse on Wednesday because of the directive by PENGASSAN and NUPENG to their operations men not to process tickets for the marketers to load the product.

“The supply problem before now has not been addressed. Over 80 per cent of the petrol in the country is being supplied by the NNPC. Out of the seven depots doing throughput, only about three had the product on Wednesday and marketers could not load from them because of the directive by the unions.”

It was gathered that officials of the NNPC who ought to supervise the discharge petrol from vessels into the storage facilities of Aeito, Capital Oil, Ascon, Nipco, Eden Petroleum, MRS and Folawiyo in Lagos did not report for duty in compliance with the directive of the unions.

In Abuja, the main entrance to the corporation’s headquarters was blocked early in the morning. Employees of the corporation and its subsidiaries, whose offices are located in the NNPC Towers, were turned back by the protesting union members.

According to them, the shutdown of the NNPC is nationwide.

The Group Chairman, NUPENG, NNPC Branch, Mr. Odudu Udofia, told journalists in Abuja that the protest by the workers was against the unilateral decision of the minister to reorganise the corporation without carrying along any of the stakeholders, especially the two trade unions in the oil and gas industry.

Culled from

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