The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers on Wednesday 26 October 2016 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, urging it to prevail on international oil companies operating in the country to stop the ongoing mass retrenchment of oil workers to avoid further loss of jobs.

The National President of NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, stated this at the end of a meeting of the Central Working Committee of the union held in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. Achese said that many oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, and Ground Petroleum, among others, were leaving the country following the prevailing economic recession, which has led to the sacking of about 3,000 oil workers. He said if the Federal Government fails to stop the ongoing massive retrenchment in the sector, their employers would sack many more oil workers. 

“It is painful to say 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 including ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem Ground Petroleum, and Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited. The various oil companies have already sacked about 3,000 workers. “The Federal Government should act fast to avert further loss of jobs. There is too much redundancy in the oil industry, which needs urgent action from government to salvage the situation,” Achese said. “We are now asking ourselves where are we heading with the industry. We have lost so much of Nigerian personnel working in the oil and gas industry. What is happening in Nigeria cannot be compared to what is happening in other African countries. We want government to wake up and address some of these issues.”

The sector started experiencing challenges when the prices of oil crashed globally.

The situation was further exacerbated in Nigeria as a result of the activities of the Niger Delta militants.

Folashade Olubayo
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