The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and all Nigerian senior oil workers will today, July 7th commence their proposed indefinite strike.
Following their inability to resolve some industry issues with the federal government, PENGASSAN in a memo dated July 4, 2016, directed its members to begin gradual withdrawal of services from their offices, sites and production facilities in protest of job losses, delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and inability of the NNPC to meet piling debts to international oil companies.
PENGASSAN is also accusing the Federal government of failing to honor negotiation meetings set up on June 23rd and 30th.
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PENGASSAN Acting General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, says the strike will affect all sub-sectors of the oil and gas industry, including the upstream, the midstream and the downstream sectors. Unless government intervenes, the strike will be a gradual shutdown.
The National Public Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, Comrade Emmanuel Ojugbana, says PENGASSAN members in all the agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, oil majors, labour and contract services companies and petroleum products marketing companies would join in the action.
Ojugbana said that the workers’ major grievance was the issue of JV funding and cash call payments owed international oil companies.
He says the IOCs have restated that government owes them about $7bn and nothing is being done. Government is not in any way keeping its obligations on this funding issue such that the IOCs have stopped several of their projects.
New investments and jobs are not created, which is also crippling down service companies as many of them are now reducing their staff.
The union appealed for understanding of all Nigerians and operators that would be impacted by the strike, saying that the action was in the interest of the industry.