NUPENG, PENGASSAN call off strike

The strike action called by Nigeria’s two powerful oil unions, PENGASSAN and NUPENG has been called off.

According to sources the strike was called off at 4:00am today after a marathon meeting between the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and leaders of the two unions.

The workers had staged a work walkout on Wednesday following the announcement of the unbundling of the NNPC into seven autonomous units.

The workers kicked that the minister had not carried them along and that the unbundling triggered issues about pensions, possible job losses and due process.

Spokesmen said the unbundling also breached the law that set up the NNPC, 38 years ago.

Kachikwu assured them that there was no unbundling of NNPC, stressing that, what was happening was a restructuring.

“We have not unbundled NNPC. We had a press conference yesterday where I explained this,” Kachikwu said.

“What we have simply done is reorganisation. We have five business entities focused on business- Upstream, Downstream, Refineries, Gas and Power, that are there before.

“There is also ventures that capture all our little companies that were not having proper stewardship.

“They are run by individuals who report to the GMD. The NNPC is still a whole. There is nothing new that has happened.

“I have tried to explain this and I am sure the NNPC workers are members of the family, they will understand.

“We are going to have a meeting, and they will be made to understand. Perhaps the engagement has not been good enough.

“NNPC has not been unbundled in the sense of breaking up NNPC into distinct institutions. I am concerned.

“I don’t want the industry shut down. I am sure we are going to resolve the issues very soon,” he further explained.

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