JUST IN: Impending crisis as petrol tanker drivers plan strike from Monday

The Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says it will commence a nationwide strike on Monday.

NUPENG’s president, Igwe Achese, announced this in a signed communique on Friday in Lagos, at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held at the union’s secretariat in Yaba.

The communique said the strike would draw the attention of the Federal Government to some unresolved issues bordering on the welfare of workers, such as bad roads, poor remuneration, insecurity and the alleged excesses of some security agencies.

“The CWC-in-Session considers inhumane, the refusal of the National Association of Transport Owners (NARTO) to commence negotiation with the union for the renewal of the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on the working conditions of our Tanker Driver members in the PTD branch, after several appeals and even an ultimatum.

“The CWC-in-Session, therefore, resolves to give full backing to any industrial action the members in this sector might decide to take with effect from Monday, April 3, 2017.

“To avert the pains and discomfort the action might cause, the CWC-in-Session calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and apprehend the unfortunate situation, to enable NARTO meet its obligations to tanker drivers,’’ the communique said.

The communique also called on the National Assembly to urgently pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, in order to tackle all the issues of corruption plaguing the oil sector.

It also called for the commercialisation of the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as the turn-around-maintenance for the refineries, to increase local production and reduce the importation of petroleum products.

The communique commended the efforts of the federal government to encourage operators of illegal refineries to be integrated into the establishment of modular refineries.

The union also vowed to resist any attempt to increase the pump price of petrol.

It also commended efforts of the government to shore up the Naira against the Dollar and the decline in the inflationary rate to 17.5 per cent.

The communique, however, called on government to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, hunger and the rising cost of goods and services.

It also appealed to government to adopt measures to restructure the economy, as well as address challenges confronting the power sector.

The association commended the federal government’s determined efforts at eliminating the Boko Haram sect from the Sambisa forest, but called for increased military intelligence gathering to stem the spate of suicide bombings in Maiduguri, Borno.

While commending the efforts of the Police in combating crime, the union also called for increased surveillance to tackle rising cases of kidnappings, rape and other crimes.


Source: NAN

NUPENG, PENGASSAN oppose plan to hike price of fuel

Petroleum workers yesterday kicked against the plan by government to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) otherwise known as NUPENGASSAN, made this known yesterday in their position papers to the Chairman, Ad-Hoc House of Representatives Committee on the Review of Pump Price of Premium Motor Spirit.

NUPENGASSAN maintained: “This is not the right time to review the pricing template of PMS due to certain reasons.”

However, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru dismissed reports of any upward review of the price of petrol.

His counterpart at the Nigeria Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC), Mr. Farouk Ahmed also spoke in the same vein, saying his outfit can no longer worsen the rate of the average Nigerian with a fuel price increase.

Both spoke yesterday before the same ad hoc committee in Abuja.

Baru, who was represented by NNPC’s chief Executive Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obih, faulted the notions that NNPC stopped supply of fuel to marketers since last week. He said the coastal price of the product to marketers still stood at N123 per litre.

Ahmed, who assured that his outfit would ensure availability of fuel through its retail outlets, remarked that there was nothing his outfit could do to reduce the price of kerosene and diesel since the prices of the products have been deregulated.

He blamed foreign exchange problems for the high cost of the products. The NPMC chief expressed optimism that the involvement of more marketers and repair of pipelines remains the solution to the shortage of the products across the country.

NUPENG calls off 3-day warning strike

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Wednesday in Abuja called off its three-day nationwide warning strike.

NUPENG’s President, Igwe Achese, announced the suspension at a meeting called at the instance of Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Other groups at the meeting were the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Nigeria National Petroleum Co-operation (NNPC), National Salaries and Wages Commission, oil and Servicing companies, among others.

NUPENG gave a notice of three-day warning strike on Tuesday, over disputes with International Oil Companies, over indiscriminate sack of workers without benefits and refusal to allow their workers to join union.

“I am happy to say that each and every issue raised has been addressed and I hope that all parties will be committed to implement the agreement.

“We have therefore decided to call off the three- day warning strike. ‘’

Mr. Achese commended the minister for his intervention in addressing the issues raised by the union.

Mr. Ngige urged all oil companies that entered into the collective agreement to ensure its implementation.

He also commended PENGASSAN for also calling off its two-weeks warning strike.

The minister gave the oil companies two weeks to resolve all outstanding issues.


Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, is expected to meet today with the leadership of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association Of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN).


The meeting is expected to trash out disagreement between the unionist and oil companies over staff welfare.


The federal government is mediating on the matter as it did in 2016.


After Wednesday’s meeting, it would then be determined whether to proceed on the strike action as a follow up to the three-day warning notice earlier issued by the union.

NUPENG lauds FG’s policy to stop petroleum products importation by 2018

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has thrown its weight behind the Federal Government’s policy to end importation of petroleum products by 2018.

Mr Joseph Ogbebor, NUPENG’s General Secretary gave the union’s position in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, had said on Wednesday in Ebonyi announced that by 2018, Nigeria would stop the importation of refined petroleum products.

Nigeria as an oil-producing state and member of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), he said, had no business importing refined products.

“Importation of petroleum products became unavoidable because there was no regular maintenance of the four government-owned refineries.

“This led to poor capacity utilisation and loss of jobs while promoting and sustaining jobs in countries where Nigeria imports petrol from.,” the NUPENG scribe said.

He said if new refineries were built and the existing ones given necessary turned-around maintenance with adequate crude supplied for refining for local consumption, importation of petroleum products would be unnecessary.

“This is what as a union we have been preaching for long. Turn the refineries around so that we can create jobs for Nigerians.

“Rather than depend on importation and by so doing create jobs outside the country while the people suffer.”

“If the government could implement it and put an end to petrol importation, it would be a welcome development and better for the economy,” Ogbebor added.

NUPENG shuts down Total Plc over sacked workers

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Thursday ordered stoppage of loading activities at all Total Nig. Ltd., depots nationwide over termination of workers appointment.

This is according to a statement signed by Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union.

According to Mr. Korodo, the management of Total has been resisting the unionisation of workers under its contract programme in Lagos, Kaduna and Koko in Delta blending plants.

The chairman said the management of Total had moved further to terminate those workers who had joined the union in spite of the union efforts to resolve the issue amicably.

“In view of this, the union has directed all workers in Total downstream to stop work until the management allows workers to unionise and slave labour introduced are cancelled.

“This action should commence immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited Total Blending Plant at Kirikiri, Apapa observed that workers blocked the entrance of the gate with two trailers.

The workers were seen with various placards with inscriptions: “Nigerians enslaving Nigerians in Nigeria, “Total and Jomog want to sack us because we joined NUPENG”.

Rotimi Benjamin, the Zonal Vice-Chairman, South West Chapter of NUPENG, said that the management of Total had summoned the union to a meeting to resolve the issue.

Mr. Benjamin, however, said that the union would not go back on his action until all the issues were resolved.

NUPENG Gives Notice of 3-day Warning Strike in Jan 2017

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has given notice of a 3-day nation-wide warning strike from the first week of January 2017, over unresolved labour issues with multinationals operating in the oil and gas industry.

President of the union, Mr. Igwe Achese, in a statement, yesterday, said the decision was taken at the end of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday. He warned that the 3-day warning strike was preparatory to a nation-wide strike if there was no intervention by the Federal Government.

The union stated that the date in January would be communicated to all its members but advised them to start wearing red bands to work from next week while members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, had been instructed also to put green leaves on their tankers as a protest preparatory for the commencement of the 3-day warning strike next month. NUPENG insisted that it would resist any divestment by the multinationals that “does not carry the union along, especially in OML 53 and 55 operated by Chevron and now OML 30.”

According to the statement: “The union stresses that it believes that whatever goodwill government has to encourage investors to come should not lead to job loses but job creation. The unresolved labour related issues which made the union to issue a 21-day ultimatum for the Federal Government’s intervention include the non-payment of terminal benefits to 48 contract staff and 250 contract staff terminated in Lagos and Port Harcourt by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

The others are the refusal of Exxon Mobil Producing to reinstate over 200 NUPENG members sacked through its directives to its labour contractors despite ultimatum jointly issued by NUPENGASSAN.

“The Chevron issue includes the total closure of the company’s eastern operations through divestment and refusal to discuss the redundancy terms and its refusal to facilitate the formation of Chevron labour Contractors Forum to interface with NUPENG. Chevron’s refusal to allow workers to unionize is also causing industrial relations tension. “The other issues include Tecon Oil Services Management reneging on the communiqué signed with the union on offloading the severance benefits of its members working in the companies.” NUPENG added that “other unresolved labour issues involve Pan Ocean non-implementation of annual salary increase for NUPENG Members in the company from 2014 till date.”

NUPENG threatens to embark on industrial action

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says it will embark on a three-day warning strike if oil and gas companies fail to address workers’ welfare.

Igwe Achese, president of the union, disclosed this in a statement signed in Lagos.

Achese said the union had given the federal government a 21-day ultimatum to intervene in labour issues involving multinationals operating in the oil and gas sector.

He said among contending issues was the non-payment of terminal benefits to 48 contract staff.

Achese said 250 staff whose contract was terminated by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Lagos and Port Harcourt, were not paid.

He said Exxon Mobil refused to reinstate over 200 NUPENG members sacked.

“There are also the issues of closure of Chevron’s Eastern Operations through divestment and refusal to discuss the redundancy terms,” he said.

“Chevron refused to facilitate the formation of Chevron labour Contractors Forum to interface with NUPENG.”

Achese alleged that another oil company reneged on the communiqué signed with the union on settling the severance benefits of its members working in the companies.

He said the union had yet to resolve issues with Pan Ocean over non-implementation of salary increase for its members since 2014.

The NUPENG president said the three-day warning strike would become full if the government did not intervene on the issues.

NUPENG Threatens Strike

THE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action over the alleged anti-labour practices of International Oil Companies (IOCs).

Its President, Comrade Igwe Achese, said the spate of redundancy in the industry was worrisome, as workers were being booted out daily.

He pointed out that the actions of the IOCs were contrary to the government’s zero/tolerance for job losses, condemnable and unacceptable to the union.

He threatened strike if the government failed to call the multinational oil firms which have engaged in anti-labour and union activities to order.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to intervene in the unresolved labour issues with the following companies so that we do not witness a nationwide industrial action by next week when our 21-day ultimatum expires,” he said.

He condemned the anti-union posture of the IOCs, noting that the constitution stipulates freedom of association and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 and 98, which Nigeria is a signatory.

He said the anti-union posture of the IOCs was brewing tension in the industry.

He advised the Federal Government to prevail on the multinationals and service companies to stop the spate of retrenchment.

Achese said the union would not support the sale of NNPC’s assets without proper consultation with labour unions in the sector.

According to him, there is no way the unions would allow these assets to be sold without their input.

Achese said: “We are opposed to the sale of the nation’s assets, especially the refineries. We believe that the proposed sale is unnecessary and not in our national interest, as they will be sold to their cronies as scraps. The union will resist any attempt to sell these national assets and advise that government should look at other areas to revamp the economy.’’

“NUPENG says no to sale of NNPC assets, we are against any sale of the nation’s assets because there is no justification for it.

“They are planning to sell them to their cronies like they did in power sector. We cannot continue to watch until they sell the whole nation. Labour unions cannot wake up and discover that assets are being put up for sale without consulting. The state of our roads is still nothing to write home about as they are all dilapidated. We condemn the slow pace of work by the contractors recently mobilised to site.”

NUPENG Rejects Sale Of NNPC Assets

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said that it will not support the sale of NNPC’s assets without proper consultation with labour unions in the petroleum sector.

Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union, made the declaration in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

NAN reports that oil workers had on Nov. 13 declared that they would reject any attempt by the Federal Government to sell some of its stakes in the NNPC.

The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources released a draft policy document on the reform of the oil sector on Nov. 10, which proposed the sale of some of its stake in the national oil firm. According to Korodo, there is no way the unions will open their eyes and allow these assets to be sold without proper consultation.

“NUPENG says no to sale of NNPC assets, we are against any sale of the nation’s assets because there is no justification for it. “They are planning to sell them to their cronies like they did in power sector.

“We cannot continue to watch until they sell the whole nation.

“Labour unions cannot wake up and discover that assets are being put up for sale without consulting them; it will not work.

“The government needs to resolve labour issues before selling any assets,’’ he said.

Credit: NAN


Suspend Planned Strike – Ngige Begs NUPENG, PENGASSAN

The Federal Government has advised the National Union Of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria to shelve their planned strike over the alleged sacking of 3,000 of its members by oil companies.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made the appeal when speaking with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

The unions on October 26 gave a 21-day ultimatum to the government.

The unions called on the federal government to intervene on the matter by putting a stop to the sacking of its members.

Ngige said that the ministry had earlier in the year had several meetings with the employers, leadership of the unions and employees in which an agreement was reached.

He said, “We all had an agreement and the agreement was that instead of retrenchment, they should focus on reducing some of their top most positions of the establishments.

“We also agreed that some allowances should be shielded up, while some offices of directors and top management staff should be pegged.

“They all agreed and that is what they have been doing, we also formed a kind of forum between the employers, employees and unions with my ministry.

“The forum is supposed to be meeting to fashion out oil and gas labour relations which will guide whatever is happening there.

“I do not know if NUPGENG is dissatisfied with what is coming out from that forum.’’

The minister recalled that two months ago NUPGENG and PENGASSAN had submitted petitions against the oil and gas companies, and there were marathon meetings held with the employers.

He said the ministry had then convened series of meetings where issues were looked into on companies’ basis to understand why they should not retrench.

Ngige said he had then directed the companies to recall their retrenched workers as the right procedures and due process as stipulated in Section 20 of the Redundancy Law was not followed.

He said, “I will find out why NUPGENG is issuing the 21-day ultimatum and also call for a meeting to look at the developing issues.

“If there are particular companies that have deviated from the agreement we have reached, we will call those companies and ask them to comply.”

NUPENG, PENGASSAN threaten strike over sack of 3,000 members.

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.

NUPENG Calls For Emergency On Economy

Organised labour in the oil sector has given the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government a hard knock on the parlous state of the economy.
The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), which expressed grave concern, said the Buhari administration was yet to fully tackle the economic challenges facing the country.
President of the union, Igwe Achese, said NUPENG is concerned about the weak naira, growing inflation, rise in the cost of prices of goods and essential services, unemployment and growing incidences of crime rate in the country.
The union stated that, “the current sufferings of the masses, which the President recently acknowledged should be uppermost in the mind of the administration and should be tackled.
“We call for the declaration of a state of emergency on the economy with a view to urgently address the issues.”
Achese advised Buhari to include other stakeholders in the Economic Team headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, even as he added that the team should meet to offer solution, on the way forward.
The union stated that a blessed nation like Nigeria cannot continue to lament with its abundant resources and therefore mandated the Federal Government to diversify the economy by probing into agricultural and solid minerals development through public private partnership.
“It is not enough for it to be involved in rhetoric while time is ticking out,”  the Union said.

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have called off their strike after a meeting with the Federal Government.

Leadership of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, yesterday met with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu,

Credit: Vanguard

NUPENG, PENGASSAN To Meet In Calabar Over New Pump Price

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) will on May 12 and 13 deliberate on the new pump price announced by Federal Government.

Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to him, it is too early to make any official statement until the two bodies meet to deliberate on the matter.

He said that the meeting would discuss the new development and come out with a stand on the matter.

Korodo, however, said that no official of the two oil workers labour unions was authorised to speak on the new pump price as announced by the government.

The Federal Government on May 11, announced a new price regime for petrol with the highest price of N145 per litre.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said in Abuja that the new price regime had taken effect from May 11.

The NNPC, however, advised its retail stations on the outskirts of major cities to sell at prices lower than N145 per litre.



NUPENG Flays NNPC’s Plan To Cut Contracting Cycle

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday, in Warri, Delta State, condemned the plan by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to cut contracting cycle in the Nigerian oil and gas industry from its current stretch of between two to four years, to six months, insisting that it would be resisted.

The union, in a statement by its President and acting General Secretary, Achese Igwe and Joseph Ogbebor, contended that the plan was untenable, unnecessary, anti-labour, wicked and would amount to modern day slavery for oil and gas workers.

NUPENG stated that cutting the contracting cycle to six months negated the principle behind the local content policy and the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari on job creation and not short-lived contract employment.

They said: “NUPENG notes that NNPC’s position that contract cycle of two to four years was a major contributor to the high cost per barrel of Nigerian crude oil compared to other OPEC member countries amounts to self-service and sounds very unpatriotic. Oil and gas workers in other OPEC countries are given permanent work status with good conditions of service as compared to the modern day slavery practised in Nigeria and encouraged by NNPC that is supposed to be the regulator of operations in the sector. The plan to cut contracting cycle to six months is a stab on the face of oil and gas workers who produce the black gold to be tossed around every half of the year on their contract status.”

Credit: vanguardngr

Buhari Meets Leadership Of NUPENG, PENGASSAN

President Muhammadu Buhari is presently in a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers at the State House.

The purpose of the meeting was not disclosed to journalists but it may be connected to the recent restructuring at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

The meeting is attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Director General of the Department of State Services, Mr Lawal Daura and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.

Earlier on March 8, 2016,  Dr. Kachikwu announced the restructuring of the NNPC,  however, oil workers kicked against the announcement and proceeded on industrial action.

The action was later suspended for 14 days, for government to dialogue with the unions and chart a way forward in the sector.

Meanwhile, queues still trail petrol stations across the country and this may form part of their discussion at the Presidential Villa.

Dr. Kachikwu is expected to brief the media on the outcome of the meeting.

Why Fuel Scarcity May Persist- NUPENG

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said that the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country may persist until the Federal Government takes effective action on petroleum products availability.

The declaration comes even as independent oil marketers and other private petroleum products operators insist that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is running a monopolistic system.

President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, said “Clearly from the perspective of our own study, in as much we are concerned with the current situation we find ourselves, scarcity will continue. However, like we rightly said, if Federal Government is having a political will to address these issues, definitely, we will get out of this quagmire. For now, I’m sure we will still continue to find ourselves in where we are.

“NNPC, through its Products and Pipeline Marketing Company, PPMC, subsidiary is trying everything possible to see that this scarcity issue is resolved, but it also requires the commitment of all stakeholders.”

Regarding the loading of products at the depots of PPMC and other marketers, he argued that, “It is not an issue of Capital Oil, or Mosimi, it is an issue of the process. We need to change our approach, we need to change our structure in terms of the way and manner we carry out these operations.”

Credit: Vanguard


There is a big relief nationwide among citizens, following the suspension of national strike embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

The PENGASSAN President, Comrade Johnson Francis told Channels Television on Thursday, that the action was taken after the intervention of the Presidency and the clarification made by the Petroleum Ministry.

PENGASSAN’s acting General Secretary Lumumba Okugbawa adds that the decision was taken  after 10 hours of talk, ending at about 3am between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, NNPC Executives and union officials.

“Management agreed that there would be further collaboration … with a view to considering any suggested amendments. Our input would be taken into consideration,”

The unions have been directed to resume work and ensure that there is adequate supply of fuel.

Mr Johnson also called on Nigerians to bear with the unions, assuring that everything is under control to ensure the fuel crisis do not linger for long.

Credit: ChannelsTv

NUPENG, PENGASSAN Condemn Moves To Unbundle NNPC

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN counterpart, have said moves to unbundle Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into 30 companies without following due process by the Federal government, is illegal.


NUPENG and PENGASSAN in separate statements yesterday, said the moves was an attempt to provoke the Oil and Gas workers and cause industrial unrest in the country In the statement by its Acting General Secretary, Joseph Ogbebor, NUPENG said:


“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. Job creation and job security has been the change mantra of the current administration.


The move is to kill the NNPC by all means but that government officials should know that the Corporation is a creation of law and that it will take the repealing of the original Act to effect the changes that they are planning to do. On its part, PENGASSAN in a statement by its Acting General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, said the government’s move is tantamount to a somersault.


He said, “There is an existing NNPC Act of 1977 that set up the NNPC. This Act has many provisions that deal with structure and operations of the corporation. There are many issues such as pensions and transfer of the employees, which are provided for in the NNPC Act of 1977. What will happen to all these provisions of the law?

”For the government to do anything with the current NNPC, the Act must either be repealed or amended to accommodate the planned restructuring. If not done, it will equal to lack of respect for the rule of law on the part of the government.

“The Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, that is expected to be the legal instrument for the ongoing reforms of the Oil and Gas industry will be meaningless if the Government should introduce plans outside the reforms, The PIB is germane to the development of the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry.”


Credit : Vanguard

NUPENG Threatens To Stop Fuel Supply To Lagos

National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has threatened to stop supplying petroleum products to the Lagos State Government and also, residents over N224 million debt.
NUPENG said the state government has failed to settle its debt despite several entreaties.
Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West chairman of the union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the debt arose from a contract given to the union by the state government and alleged that the N224 million was for payment for the supply of diesel and kerosene to the state government’s direct labour projects in Ojodu, which were executed between October 2014 and May 2015.
The union chairman said, “the contract was financed by Skye Bank and the bank had been asking for repayment of the loan. All efforts to prevail on state government to pay this money through our letter dated December 2, which was acknowledged on December 4 failed.
“Now, the union is left with no option than to stop supplying petroleum products to all parastatals and agencies of Lagos State. From today on, if this is not effective, we may be forced to abandon Lagos as a whole to demand for this payment as Skye Bank is on our neck for this payment.”
Korodo said all unions in the oil sector would participate in the action.
“If this payment is not made on time, every union under oil workers will participate because an injury to one person of the union is injury to all members,” he said.
Officials of the state ministry of transportation were not ready to speak on the issue when contacted. They said they were not permitted to speak to newsmen.

Credit: Sun

Petrol Will Soon Be Available – NUPENG

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers on Monday says that petrol would soon be available in filling stations across the country.


Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of the union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos there had been improvement on loading of petroleum at the depots in Lagos.


He observed that Nigerians would appreciate the present regime if it could reduce the price of petroleum.


NAN reports that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had earlier said that a price modulation in petrol would begin by January 2016.


Kachikwu disclosed this during his inspection of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) on Christmas day.


The NUPENG chairman said that the government meant well for all and sundry, in spite of the few greedy that worked to frustrate genuine intentions.




NUPENG Decries Lingering Fuel Crisis, Kicks Against Subsidy Removal

NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has reaffirmed its aversion to oil subsidy removal, insisting that such a move can only be carried out when government has fully effected the complete turn around maintenance of four refineries to enable them produce optimally.

While vowing that the union would resist anti-people policies from the Federal Government, President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said, the refineries when put in use would cushion the hardship subsidy removal would have on the people.

In a related development, oil workers have alleged that the revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) due for presentation to the National Assembly contains anti-labour provisions.

President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Francis Johnson, who stated this yesterday at the union’s 4th triennial delegates’ conference, explained that oil workers will resist any provision that promotes job losses.

In a 10-point communique issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC), meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NUPENG attributed the cause of the perennial fuel scarcity to the manner the Federal Government managed the subsidy, stressing that the union was watching how the policies were implemented.

He said: “The union condemned in its entirety the perennial and persistent fuel scarcity in the country and the hardship imposed on the masses, especially at this festive period.

In the circumstance, the NEC in session calls on the Federal Government and NNPC to flood the market with petroleum products to arrest the current prevalent fuel scarcity in the country.
“The current way and manner the subsidy issue is being managed is responsible for the fuel scarcity experienced across the country”, he added.

Credit: Guardian

NUPENG Charges FEC On Economic Development

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has urged the Federal Executive Council (FEC) consisting of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Ministers recently sworn in to quickly hit the ground running in order to put the nation’s economy back on track.

The union believes that a lot of time has been wasted to constitute the cabinet ”which is supposed to implement the programmes of the government”.

NUPENG in a statement implored FEC to meet regularly to proffer solutions to the needs of the teeming Nigerians they promised to end their sufferings.

According to the union, expectations are high and “they should therefore put up concrete policies to hit the ground running by arresting the incessant fuel shortages presently experienced all over the country”.

National President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese was quoted as saying that since President Buhari is personally in charge of the Petroleum Ministry, “he and his team must put up short and long term measures to end the sufferings of the masses to get petroleum products without wasting man – hours at the filling stations”.

 Credit: Guardian

Fuel Scarcity: Lifting Of Petrol Has Commenced

Stakeholders in petroleum sector, at a public hearing by the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream), on Monday resolved to mobilise their members for the immediate distribution of fuel across the country.

Senator Magnus Abe, who read a communique signed by the stakeholders after the session, explained that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and other stakeholders, who attended the meeting, unanimously agreed to the peace deal, in the interest of the nation.

He said, “We have agreed on the following: first is that the Minister of Finance will give an undertaking to the Major Marketers and Depot Managers that the work of the committee being headed by CBN and PPPR, on the outstanding claims, would be concluded and be reflected in the hand over notes to the incoming administration.”

The Senator said the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria had agreed to begin lifting of petroleum products nationwide within the next six hours and to also pay the National Association of Road Transport Owners, the transport cost that would be determined by them.

He added that the Depot Managers had agreed to open all their depots nationwide so that lifting would commence and had agreed with the DPR to withdraw the operational licence of any depot which was not opened for fuel lifting.

Abe said the NNPC had directed all relevant staff, working in the various depots across the country, to work 24 hours, including Saturday and Sunday, for the next two weeks until normalcy returns to the sector.

He also explained that following the intervention of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the strike embarked upon by several labour unions had been called off.

Keep calm Nigerians, fuel is coming to the filling station near you!

Fuel Scarcity: Black Marketers Source Product From Cotonou

The lingering scarcity of petroleum products in the country which has caused petrol to be sold at between N4,500 and N5,000 per five litres has forced Nigerians to source the product from Cotonou.

NAN reports that the country which is the world’s sixth largest oil producer has been in fuel crisis for more than two weeks.

On Monday, petrol sold for between N4,500 and N5,000 per litre along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway as black marketers claimed they sourced the product from neighbouring Cotonou in the Republic of Benin which is not an oil producing country.

NAN also reports that hundreds of passengers were stranded at bus stops while vehicle owners groaned under the high price of the products occasioned by the ongoing strike by petroleum marketers.

A petrol hawker, who identified himself as Simpson Samuel, told NAN that he bought five litres from Cotonou and resold it for N5, 000 in Lagos.

“I purchased this fuel for 800 Cedis a litre, which is equivalent of N3,500.

“We have been at filling stations along this Badagry road, but we did not get fuel. Some of our colleagues directed us to Cotonou and that is where we bought these ones.

“Many people who have also gone there cannot buy because of the rush by our people,” Samuel said.

NAN reports that in other parts of Lagos, some black marketers sold between N5, 000 and N6, 000.

At a filling station located at the Agric bus top, along the Badagry Expressway, fuel was sold for N300 per litre.

Mr Francis Johnson, General Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), advised the incoming government to declare a state of emergency in the oil and gas industry.

Johnson attributed the leakages in the nation’s revenue to the importation of refined petroleum products.

He added that the situation was creating jobs for the nations Nigeria was importing the refined product from and causing unemployment for Nigerians.

According to him, the continued importation of refined petroleum products was putting the Naira under pressure and creating social problems for the economy.

He said that there was the need for stakeholders to meet and fashion out a strategy to be adopted in stopping the importation of petroleum products.

NAN reports that the Chairman of Capital Oil, Mr Ifeanyi Uba, had on Sunday promised to release 13 million litres fuel which amounts to of 400 tankers of fuel.

He also promised to release 70 million litres subsequently, while denying knowledge of the ongoing strike by petroleum marketers and tanker drivers.

Uba said it was sad that Nigerians, especially those that provided healthcare service were suffering because of the scarcity.

Meanwhile, banks and other financial institutions have announced that they would close business at 1:00 p.m. because of the situation.

The telecommunications companies have also announced closure of some of their services from today till the situated improves.

Fuel Scarcity: NLC Set To Order Workers To Stay Home

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday threatened to direct workers to stay at home if the fuel scarcity being experienced across the country pasisted.

The NLC Deputy National President, Isa Aremu stated this in a statement made available to NAN on Monday in Kaduna.

The NLC statement is coming barely four days before the PDP led government would handover the affairs of the nation to the new President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, May 29.

“If the Current scarcity and price robbery of Nigerians continues NLC will have no choice but compel workers to stay at home.

“Workers certainly cannot fuel themselves to work with their blood. There is limit to slavery and state marketers’ extortion.

“With an outgiong president and incoming one, five past heads of state alive, 36 state governors and hundreds of legislators and scores of ministers, no country on earth parades the highest number of state actors like Nigeria.

“Yet there is no governance with respect to distribution of basic products like petroleum and kerosene.”

According to him, it is time Nigerians stop agonising in the hands of cabals holding the nation to ransom for several weeks through deliberate deprivation of petroleum products.

“What is happening in Nigeria amounts to economicide, which is a conscious subjugation of 170 million people to economic ruination through unsustainable petroleum import-based racket.

“This is an unofficial declaration of war against the citizens by combined forces of irresponsible ruling elite and bussiness crooks.”

“This agony of capitalism must be mass resisted by all Nigerians,” he said.

Fuel Crisis: ??Okonjo-Iweala Accuses Oil Marketers of Blackmail

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Saturday accused petroleum products marketers of blackmail? by masterminding the current fuel scarcity that has threatened to ground the economy.
The Minister, who was speaking in Abuja, said it was shocking that barely a week after she reached an agreement over ??N200 billion ?fuel ?claims?,? the marketers reneged and failed to continue selling fuel to consumers.

Mrs?.? Okonjo-Iweala?,? who spoke of efforts the government was making to ensure that the marketers’ claims were paid, said apart from the N154 billion paid a fortnight ago, about N31 billion and N350 billion were paid to the marketers previously.

She said it was curious that despite these efforts by ?the ?government in a year it was going through difficult times?,? the? marketers ?were showing so much bad faith.

?The minister said after the N154 billion was paid and the marketers came up with ?a new? request of
N200 billion as ?their ?outstanding claims, it was found out that about N159 billion was actually what they were asking for as exchange rate differential.

Consequently, she said it was agreed that a committee be set up to verify the claims before the payment was be made.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that the committee was headed by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Farouk Ahmed, with the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Abraham Nwankwo, as well as two Directors-General from the Ministry as members.

“The marketers wanted me (Minister) to sign the claim for the payment of N159 billion and I said no, because Nigerian?s? don’t ?know ?what is exchange rate differential. We had to call those agencies responsible to verify those claims in view of the fact that there has been so much fraud and manipulations in the claims by oil marketers?,” Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said.?

“We have to be very careful, so that Nigerians would not accuse us of giving away their money for something that was not real. It is the demonstration of the highest sense of bad faith that after we had an agreement during the meeting and they said everything had been settled, only for the marketers to turn around the very next day to say a complete?? opposite thing?.?

The next day they shut down all the filling stations, except few of them who opened to sell. What does that tell you?

My conclusion is that the marketers just want Nigerians to suffer. Anyone who thinks that this whole thing has to do with the money being owed is not being truthful. If it was so, the marketers would have waited for the verification to be completed.

It is wrong to shut down their stations and depots a day after reaching an agreement with government just to make a lot money from the black market. Nigerians should not be blackmailed. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed by the oil marketers,” the Minister said.

Senate To Investigate Cause Of Fuel Scarcity

The Senate has instructed its Committees on Petroleum Upstream and Downstream to investigate the root cause of the persistent fuel scarcity across the country.

A federal lawmaker, Senator Abdul Ningi, raised a motion on the issue at plenary saying Nigerians need to know what is responsible for the lingering fuel crises in the country, which has so far defied solutions from government.

Long queues have continued to be a permanent feature at petrol stations across the country despite assurances from the federal Government that the situation with oil marketers would be resolved.

Oil Blocks Sale: PENGASSAN, NUPENG Shut Down Oil Facilities Nationwide

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have directed employees of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to shut down indefinitely their locations and all oil production facilities nationwide in a bid to force the minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the federal government to reverse the transfer of operatorship of OMLs 42, 40 and 30.

THE WILLS also reports that the assets were previously operated by Shell.

The directive to shut down the facilities was issued yesterday by the executive councils of the PENGASSAN and NUPENG.

A petroleum industry source with knowledge of the development told the online medium that all branch chairmen of the powerful unions have been directed to fully implement the directive starting from tomorrow, May 20, 2015.

The unions are aggrieved that the sale of the assets did not follow due process and would affect the fortunes of the NPDC and its workers.

Mr. Emeka Offor’s Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, a joint venture company of Eland Oil & Gas Plc, was awarded the operatorship of OML 40, while Mr. Ernest Ezedialu Obiejesi’s NECONDE is the operator of OML 42.

Sources in the sector say three flow stations have already been shut down in the creeks of the Niger Delta ahead of tomorrow’s total shutdown.

Nigeria is the largest producer of crude oil in Africa with an estimated daily production capacity of 2.2 million barrels per day.

8 Ships Arrive Lagos Ports With Petroleum Products

Eight ships have arrived at the Lagos ports with petroleum products, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Monday in Lagos.

The NPA made the disclosure in its daily publication, “Shipping Position.’’

The petroleum products include base oil, kerosene and petrol, the publication said, adding that three other ships also arrived with rice in bags and containers.

It said that NPA was expecting the arrival of 27 ships to the Lagos ports from May 4 to May 30.

According to the publication, 13 of the expected ships are to sail in with containers, while eight others are expected to arrive with food products.

The food products, it disclosed, include rice, bulk sugar, bulk salt, frozen fish and buckwheat.

General cargoes are to be brought in four ships, while one ship each would will sail in with vehicles and kerosene, the publication stated. (NAN)

Fuel Crisis May Linger Despite Government’s Pledge To Pay Marketers

In spite of Federal Government’s efforts to restore normalcy in fuel supply, indications are that the crisis may linger for a while, as long queues of anxious motorists continue to build outside filling stations across Nigeria.

On Wednesday, Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja that ?the ?g??overnment was ready to pay the marketers the outstanding N156 billion debt in order to remove all bottlenecks in the smooth distribution of fuel in the country.

The current crisis, which worsened over the weekend, has been blamed on the National Association of Road Transport Owners whose members withdrew their services to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria over alleged N21 billion debts.

MOMAN is the umbrella group for the six major oil marketers, including Oando, Conoil, Forte Oil, MRS, Total and Mobil Oil, which control more than half of the fuel distribution outlets in the country.

NARTO had directed its members to halt further lifting and transportation of petroleum products from the depots to the six marketing firms’ retail outlets till the outstanding debt, accumulated since December 2013, were fully settled.

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers affiliate is insisting they do not have sufficient funds to continue loading and transporting petroleum products for major marketers.

Though NARTO said they were still servicing the NNPC Retail, and other independent marketers as well as the Depot & Petroleum Products Marketers Association, all filling stations belonging to the six major fuel marketers in Abuja and environs were out of stock since Monday.

However, MOMAN said it would not be able to pay its debt to NARTO unless the Ministry of Finance fulfilled its promise to its members to settle the foreign exchange differential and interest charge on loans covering the period 2013 and 2014.

The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Obafemi Olawore, said government had reneged on assurances by Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala in February to settle the N256.2 billion outstanding debt.

Mr. Olawore said since the release of N100 billion after the meeting with its members in February, no other payment was made.

He said its members were afraid the in-coming administration may not pay them on assumption of office.

The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Farouk Ahmed, said on Wednesday he was instructed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources met with officials of NARTO on Monday to reassure them of government’s readiness to pay the debt.

He said during the meeting attended by the Minister of State for Finance,  Bashir Yuguda, the marketers were told that government had approved the payment of the import charges differential  of N56 billion to them.

The PPPRA scribe said additional N100 billion in sovereign debt note issued by the Debt Management Office a month ago would also be released to the marketers as it matures on April 30.

“The DMO has already sent messages to the marketers to submit their account details for the payment to be transferred to them,” Mr. Ahmed said. “Our hope is that the marketers will pay NARTO their N21 billion as soon as possible so that the issue would be resolved.”

According to the PPPRA boss, the problem was not with stock of petroleum products, as the NNPC has sufficient stock at the depots, apart from several imported cargoes yet to be discharged at the ports.

“The problem is with the outstanding payments,” Mr. Ahmed said. “Resolving the situation depends on how fast the marketers sort out their disagreement with the marketers and restore their services.  The PPPRA and petroleum and Finance ministries have done all that is possible to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.”

Source – Premium times ng

Gen. Buhari Must End Importation Of Petroleum Products As Soon As Possible – NUPENG

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has set an agenda for the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari in the Petroleum industry, saying the government must end importation of petroleum products within a record time.

NUPENG president, Igwe Achese, who said this at a briefing in Lagos, yesterday, noted that the incoming government must also ensure the nation’s pipelines are safe from vandalisation to reduce the haulage of products by roads.

Among the expectations of NUPENG from the incoming government, according to Achese include: “government must ensure job security in the sector, as the cardinal programme of the party is job creation. The four refineries must be rehabilitated and new ones established to end or reduce massive importation of petroleum products into the country.

“Government must also protect the nation’s pipelines from vandals because if the pipelines are effectively protected, with public depots scattered across the country, products will move through the pipelines to all the major depots across the country. This will reduce the pressures on our roads with its consequences such as road accidents and gridlocks especially in Lagos that has been creating untold hardships for citizens. Again, without the safety of the pipelines, crude cannot even get to refineries such as the Kaduna refineries. The government must also rehabilitate and expand all the access roads to the refineries,” Achese said.

NUPENG also urged the outgoing National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before its tenure elapsed in June.

The Robber State Can Now Drink Her Oil By ?Erasmus Ikhide

THE hope of restoring normalcy to a morally bankrupt nation to a place in the sun greater than it had ever been is ebbing gradually. Nigeria is in economic straits, maimed by official corruption, which slices off more than 50 % of her GDP in revenue. The nation’s oil deals which has been shrouded in the caucuses of bargaining and appalling crudity has left the people in abject poverty.

But President Goodluck Jonathan’s sidekick wouldn’t have any of such. They are used to thinking that the ugly picture is a mere grotesque hodgepodge concocted by half-baked, uneducated neurotics who are bent on sabotaging the humane president. It’s time Mr President summon the moral courage and pledge the reversal of the nation’s menacing presence and the future.

Regrettably, the argument of Jonthanians is not supported by Mr president’s broken promises, overt corruption, oil theft and pipeline vandalism. The gruelling grind of irony in a land flowing with energy under its belly vanquished presidential hollowness for its failure to boon the economy.

In 2011 NNPC signed a USD28.5 billion Memorandum of Understanding, MOU with the Chinese to build the  NNPC Greenfield Refineries in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Lagos States’. So far, none has been built, four years down the road. In 2012 at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference, the bogey minister promised that Turn Around Maintenance’, TAM, will gulf USD700 million, which amounts to USD2.8 billion – for the four refineries within 12 months.

As we speak, none of the four Nigerian Refineries operates with more than 60% capacities. Kaduna refinery operates below 30% of her installed capacity. That is after billions of and billions of dollars was expended.P How else can we explain that TAM was a waste of our common patrimony and the crudest form of corruption? The four refineries can produce 445,000 barrel of oil per day, if they are functioning at 100% capabilities; which is still  below Nigeria’s current need of about 39 million litres according to the PPPRA per day!

President Jonathan’s government expended trillions of dollars in the so-called Fuel Subsidy that was reeked with hyper-corruption. When Nigerians protested the enrichment of the president’s cronies with the oil scam, Mrs Diezani Allison-madueke deadened her concerns scornfully and bluntly told the nation to go to hell or that the Fuel Subsidy would be reduced by half any time she choses.

It was a show of sheer unconcealed disdain for the Nigeria masses. The protest against Fuel Subsidy was partly against her career of gross abuse of office and blatant assault on the volition of the people to benefit from the resources of their nation. While the people haggled and groaned under the excruciating  fuel’s price spike, the federal government remained blunted in her constitution responsibilities to the electorate.

That profound deadening of consciousness is the sheerest  negation of nation-building, where the peoples’ demand for access to common till is viewed as doing them favour. Any surprise that President Jonathan gloated and gloried suppressing protesters who seek the reversal of fuel increments in the past? Even after many people have lost their lives, all the promises of palliatives never came.

Till now, the consistent figure of the about N200 billion the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, pays to petroleum marketeers quarterly for subsidy hasn’t changed. Yet, Nigeria remains one of the few OPEC members still importing majority of Refined Petroleum products to the tune of over USD15 billion yearly.

There is no doubts that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has accumulated dust wherever is it kept. This is due largely to the frosty relationship between the Hon. Minister and the Natioal Assembly members. This has resulted into her getting Court Injunction stopping them from investigating the alleged N10 billion allegedly expended on private jets. This is away from the USD20 billion missing in the NNPC accounts as alleged by the former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano.

The Presidency is aware that the no-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, is gravely affecting investment in the oil and gas industry and that the continues delay is inimical to the nation’s economy. The passage of the PIB would have fast-tracked the exploration of oil in many part of the country where oil has recently been discovered.  The President is also aware that the passage of PIB will steam the tide of mega-corruption and the suitcase oil portfolios will come to an abrupt end.

We are back to the same position. My former union, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, in alliance with the Petroleum and National Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has embarked on industrial action, grounding the already traumatised economy for lack of faith in the government of the day. The oil unions are accusing the president of inability to fix existing and build new refineries, bad roads, arbitrary sacking of union members by oil companies. The Trade Union Congress even took it further.

Arising from its Nation Executive Council, NEC, the central labour union enthuse: “The congress expresses dismay that the prices of refined petroleum products have remained unchanged despite the significant fall of crude oil prices which the CBN acknowledged as a steady one. “We therefore called on the government to direct the appropriate agency to respond by adjusting the pump price of petroleum products, which will ameliorate the impact on the purchasing power by the devaluation of the Naira.

Now, Nigerians are reminded to be contented with the oil goddess with the burning beauty who the alternate lot falls upon as the OPEC’s Chairman that becomes a shinning jewel  on her scrap-iron crown! A fourth-grade schoolmarm could have thought the minister that even the hewers of wood and the drawers of water knew when to demand for wage increase to cushion their labour. She was the least possessed of that burning sense of mission to end the ogre of corruption the perennial crisis of fuel scarcity.

Over the weekend, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed that Nigeria loses N24 billion yearly on waivers granted to importers of crude oil. This is in spite of the fact that those enjoying the waiver are the same people as those criminally benefiting from Fuel Subsidy graft.

Both the International Energy Agency and former U.S. Energy Information chief Guy Caruso predict oil prices are likely to remain lower for a while, barring a major disruption in supply. “It’s highly unlikely OPEC gets their act together, so I see prices being weak for the next six months or so,” Mr Caruso said.

It’s obvious that Nigeria will remain politically stunted, economically traumatised, developmentally backward for many years to come for refusing to diversify. It’s a stark choice we have to make. Either we diversify or we start drinking our oil! An anti-State agent? A megalomania? A sadistic fancy? All of them in part.  It’s because the State itself has become the biggest swindler and crook. A robbers’ state! The hope of nation-becoming, which early in 2011 vividly accomplished President Jonathan’s restoration’s campaigns has faded in the twilight of 2014.

There is no retelling that Mr Jonathan’s moribund regime represents the most harrowing of the nation’s nightmares over and beyond even the horror visited on the nation by military juntas. I am certain Nigeria will be approaching the polling boots across the country on February 14, 2015 with one thing in mind: Nations collapse or perish for whom it exists when the loss of force of resistance by the people give way to oppressive despots to triumph in their oppression.

Erasmus Ikhide,  @ErasmusIkhide