11 July 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT – THE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, says it would embark on strike if the Nigerian government fails to arrest continued diversion of crude oil allocated to the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Briefing journalists in Port Harcourt, Mr. Achese Igwe, president of the union, alleged that the crude oil allocated to the refinery was being diverted and sold in the open market.
“As a union, we are saying Federal Government should stop the open market sale of crude. They (Federal Government) should return the allocation to the Port Harcourt Refinery. Why must the Federal Government take away the crude oil allocated to us and sell it in the open market?” he queried.
“A nationwide strike is among the methods the union will adopt if the trend of selling our crude in the open market and offshore does not stop. We will embrace dialogue with relevant government agencies on the issue to ensure that crude oil is returned to the refinery,” he said.
According to Igwe, the development had rendered workers at the refinery redundant and has almost grounded the operations of the two plants at the facility.
Igwe said: “We are wondering if this is a tactics to tell Nigerians that the refineries are epileptic, they are not functional and they cannot refine local content product and so the best thing is to take this product offshore and refine them.”
The NUPENG boss called on the new Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, to address the situation as a matter of urgency.