Two leading unions in the oil industry, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and National Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have raised the alarm over the sacking of 3, 000 of its members and subsequently issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to put a stop to it.
The National President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, who addressed the media at the end of the Central Working Committee (CWC), meeting of the union in Effurun, Delta state, said government must do something urgently to stop the mass retrenchment of its members to avoid grounding the industry.
Achese disclosed that most of the companies, like Chevron Nigeria Limited, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem, and Hercules oil and gas limited, among others, have terminated the appointment of over 3,000 of their workers apparently over the current economic recession in the country.
“More than 3,000 of our members are affected,” Achese said, adding that “Chevron alone is about 1,500, Mobil is about 1,000 and the entire workers of Hercules Oil & Gas are being asked to go home, Pan Ocean have since closed shop and are gone. Industry-wide everybody is being asked to go.
“We are now asking ourselves where we are heading to with the industry. We have lost so much of Nigerian personnel working in the oil and gas industry. What is happening in Nigeria cannot be compared to what is happening in other African countries. We want government to wake up and address some of these issues.”
Achese said if government failed to act and direct the oil companies to stop this ongoing retrenchment of their members, they would be compelled to act to protect their interest.