17 July 2015, Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the management of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) to obey an order of the Port Harcourt High Court that status quo should be maintained in the suit between Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc and the oil firm or face the wrath of the union.
According to the union, Agip was bent on disobeying the Port Harcourt High Court order that status quo should be maintained on the issue involving the termination of a contract given to Arco by NAOC and transferred to Plantgeria.
“NAOC management is behaving as if it is above the law and in this era when we are clamouring for the rule of law and the action of NAOC is tantamount to contempt of the court,” PENGASSAN said in a statement made available to THISDAY.
The union explained that its members commenced strike following a threat by NAOC to deny them access to the plant on May 28, 2015 but that on June 30, Justice Akanbi Lambo of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, ruled that status quo be maintained pending the hearing in the case that was adjourned till October 26.
The oil workers stressed that it does not matter which company NAOC gives the contract but that NAOC should obey the court order pending the determination of the case, adding that they would not tolerate a situation whereby their members will either be molested or locked out pending the determination of the case.
PENGASSAN said: “To our greatest surprise, instead of the management of NAOC to obey the court order and maintain the status quo, it made good its threat by ordering that Arco staff should hand over to Plantgeria, thereby denying our members access to the plant on July 7, 2015.
“While the strike lasted, issues arose in the OB/OB Gas Plant in Kwale, Delta State and the NAOC Management approached the union to allow its members in Arco to fix the problem, which our members obliged with the staff of GE within the period of the strike.
The Managements of the three companies should pay our members’ severance package and other entitlements.
“Since then, NAOC refused to sign our members’ time sheet and refused respect the court order. A position the union does not expect from an organisation like NAOC.”
Customs Sustains Seizes N12m Smuggled Poultry
Frozen poultry products worth over N12 million was seized during the first week of operation ‘Hawk Descend’ in the South Western axis of Nigeria-Benin border.
The seizures consist of 1,803 cartons of the banned products confiscated in the operation.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Wale Adeniyi, said most of the seizures were made when commercial vehicles conveying them were apprehended by customs officers.
However, a significant number were made on the Iyafin Badagry waterways on the Lagoon that stretches through the Nigeria-Benin border.
The breakdown of the seizure made are as follows: Federal Operations Unit, 975 cartons; Seme Command, 461 cartons; Oyo/Osun Command, 247 cartons; and Western Marine Command, 110 cartons.
Assessing the first week of the operation, the Comptroller-General of Customs acknowledged the support of border communities in effecting the seizures.
He commended them for obliging customs patrol officers reliable intelligence about the activities of poultry products smugglers and cold room operators.
He urged hotel and restaurant owners, fast food outlet operators and barbecue sellers to shun smuggled chicken, noting that the protection of the Nigerian poultry sector is the responsibility of all.
– This Day