Petrol scarcity imminent as oil workers begin strike

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Scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, is imminent following a directive to oil workers to embark on a countrywide industrial action.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has ordered its members to vacate their duty posts following a breach of agreement by the Federal Government.

The order was contained in a letter, dated November 8, 2020, and signed by the General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa, which was also copied to the Central Working Committee members of the association.

PENGASSAN had, on November 2, 2020, in conjunction with National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over breach of agreement.

In a joint statement, the two unions had cited the breach of agreement on the implementation of IPPIS to their members and failure to pay arrears of 22month owed their members working with NNRA for their planned withdrawal of services.

PENGASSAN president, Comrade Festus Osifo and NUPENG president, Comrade Williams Akporeha, had noted that they would withdraw their services, translating to a total shutdown of oil and gas facilities and distribution of petroleum products  in the entire country.

In the same letter jointly endorsed by the general secretaries of the two labour unions and issued to the ministry of labour and employment on the 3rd of November 2020, they had noted that this was due to a breach of agreement on the implementation of IPPIS to their members and failure to pay arrears of 22month owed their members working with NNRA.

They had also noted in the letter the gross disobedience of BakerHughes, a servicing  company with his head office in Lagos and operation base in Port Harcourt to various directives of the federal ministry of Labour and Employment and the Department of Petroleum Resources bordering on redundancy discussion between the company and the labour unions.

Osifo stated on “Sunrise Daily” on Channels TV on Monday that “Today, PENGASSAN has declared a strike.”

He added, “Today our members are sitting at home and we will continually watch the situation and if we need to rev it up, we will definitely rev it up.”

Osifo stated that the industrial action followed the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the oil and gas workers.

He said that the union had given the government a seven-day ultimatum in a statement issued on Monday last week to respond to the issues.

 

 

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