NPDC workers go on strike

23 June 2015, Lagos – At least 115,000 barrels of crude oil per day, estimated at $6.9 million, may have been shut-in as Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) workers, an arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), begin an indefinite strike.

NNPC-logo-335x270The action is aimed at stalling the  planned transfer of operatorship of oil blocks divested by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited to private sector investors that bought the assets.

The strike is coming barely a month the same workers called off their over week strike because the operatorship of one of the Shell divested assets located in oil mining lease (OML) 42, was transferred to the private sector joint venture partner of NPDC – Neconde Energy Limited. The workers are striking to halt further transfer of operatorship of about five more divested blocks by the Federal Government. It was also learnt that the workers are actually asking for salary increase in disguise.

The Nation gathered that the workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) NPDC chapter simply referred to as NUPENGASSAN, had a meeting yesterday and decided to start the indefinite strike immediately after the meeting.

A source told The Nation that after their meeting yesterday, the striking workers locked the offices of the management and those of the private sector entrepreneurs that bought Shell’s divested oil blocks, asked all the consultants and visitors in the company to vacate the premises.

The source said: “NUPENGASSAN union met this morning and decided to go on an indefinite strike starting from today (yesterday). The unions asked all consultant, contract staff and visitors to vacate the company’s premises leaving only the staff in their offices. The staff will remain in their offices but they will not be working. The locked offices of all the management staff including those of their Joint Venture partners. This category of staff could not gain entrance into their offices.”

The source lamented the frequent strike noting that it disrupts production, works against output optimisation and results in revenue decline. This is economic sabotage and destabilisation of the new administration. It is just unfair because the new government needs money. What the Unions are really seeking is a pay rise but they are using the operatorship issue as blackmail to cover their inefficiencies in delivering production and revenue, the source added.

The private sector investors that bought Shell assets and are in Joint Venture with NPDC have decried the attitude of the striking workers because production is shut-in and they are losing money. Besides, the JV partners said because NPDC operates the oil blocks, the assets are hugely under-produced resulting in


– The Nation

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