10 January 2012, Sweetcrude, IBADAN – Nigerian oil workers, under the umbrella of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), are on strike but have not halted oil production, PENGASSAN president, Babatunde Ogun, said Tuesday.
But, he stated that the union might consider moving to the stage of shutting down production if the government did not change its mind on the removal of fuel subsidies, which have sparked protests across Nigeria.
Earlier, Reverend Folorunso Oginni, chairman of the Lagos zone of PENGASSAN, told Dow Jones Newswires that “no option has been ruled out” on whether the union would take steps to disrupt production.
Other oil union leaders contacted by Dow Jones said the strike, now in its second day, were hampering their efforts to get to work.
Nigerian workers took to the streets Monday to begin a strike called by the Nigerian Labor Congress and the Trade Union Congress, to protest the removal of the subsidies. The price of gasoline has doubled since their removal.
The government has said there will be no going back as it could no longer sustain the N1.3 trillion a year it spends subsidising petrol used by Nigerians.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil exporter that produces around 2 million barrels a day, earns more than 90% of its foreign exchange and 80% of government revenue from oil exports.
Trade sources said Tuesday that Nigeria’s ongoing protests hadn’t yet had any effect on the country’s oil exports.