ExxonMobil Nigeria has laid off additional 89 workers in a gale of retrenchments that started in the company last year.
The source reportedly said 60 regular workers and 29 contract workers were affected in the latest retrenchment, involving mainly workers at the company’s Qua Iboe terminal, adding that more workers may be laid off in the next two months.
The source also said that the retrenched workers had been paid their terminal benefits running into millions of naira.
“The amount paid is commensurate with the number of years put in by each of the affected workers,” the source was quoted to have said.
“The departments mostly affected include public affairs, general services and logistics.”
Nsikak Ekwere, one of the retrenched workers, who claimed he still had eight more years to work with the company, said he was surprised to see his name among the retrenched workers.
He blamed the retrenchment on the current economic situation in Nigeria, promising to make good use of his terminal benefits to create employment for himself.
Ogechukwu Udeagha, manager, media and communications of ExxonMobil did not respond to calls or text messages sent to him on the issue.
At least 250 workers of the company were reportedly laid off between January and November last year.
We recall that in December 2016, the company’s Lagos office was shut down, following a tense impasse between workers and the management over retrenchment issues. Oil companies in Nigeria have resorted to laying off workers since Nigeria entered a crippling recession that has dealt a severe blow to the economy.
Late last year, ExxonMobil Nigeria announced the discovery of a significant oil reserve with a potential resource of between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil on the Owowo offshore field.
The company were optimistic that the latest discovery will surely be a boost to the nation’s oil production output which has reportedly shrunk by a third following restiveness in the Niger Delta region.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Tuesday blamed budgetary appropriation constraints imposed by the National Assembly as the reason for its inability to remit N23.4 billion Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme, NESS fees since 2008.
NESS fees are payments to pre-shipment inspection agents and monitoring and evaluation agents in respect of their supervision of crude oil and gas exports.
With such payments, Clean Certificate of Inspections, CCI, are generated for exporters as a permit to carry out export activities. At the end of each reconciliation, agreed NESS fees payable are signed off by stakeholders to close the transaction.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has however said that the fees payable by the corporation accumulated since 2008 due to budgetary appropriation constraints imposed by the National Assembly.
Baru disclosed this while appearing before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Trade and Investment, Gas, Petroleum Upstream, Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and Customs and Excise.