The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has appealed to the Federal Government to wade in and stop the mass sack of its members by the oil companies.
Declaring that there was no time to waste, the union gave the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to save its members from further loss of jobs.
The union noted that other sectors of the economy were also faced with avoidable loss of jobs and urged the Muhammadu Buhari administration to bring succour to distressed Nigerians.
NUPENG’s National President, Mr. Igwe Achese, who spoke on Wednesday on the terrible state of the oil industry, said the ultimatum was part of the resolutions reached by NUPENG’s Central Working Committee (CWC).
The CWC met on Wednesday at the Kayriot Hotel, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
He said the union also demanded the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now before the National Assembly.
Achese said: “NUPENG will take all necessary actions to drive home its demands if the Federal Government failed to act within 21 days. We want the government to intervene within the 21 days to stop further loss of jobs nationwide. We are 100 percent in support of the anti-corruption war, but there must be respite for Nigerians.
“Right now, our members and even those in other sectors are no longer able to pay school fees for their children and even afford to pay their rents. Worse still, those being sacked are treated without commitment to proper terminal benefits”.
Achese tasked the President Buhari-led government to move fast to address the current redundancy in the oil sector as many oil majors and servicing companies were retrenching their workers due to recession.
He also appealed to the government to address hunger in the country, adding that the situation portends grave danger for the nation’s security.
“It’s painful to say this. As I address you, Chevron has wound up in the East and their offices closed. A total of 1,500 workers were sacked without their entitlements and nobody is saying anything. As we speak, many companies have left and many others are winding up.
“Many oil companies including ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem, Ground Petroleum, Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited in Warri are winding up. About 3,000 workers have been sacked by various oil companies.
“The Federal Government should act fast to avert further loss of jobs in the country. There is too much redundancy in the oil industry which needs urgent action from the government to salvage the situation,” he said.
Achese also asked the Federal Government to establish the Pipeline Protection Agency to address the incessant vandalism of oil facilities in the country, especially in the Niger Delta where militants are holding sway.
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