10 March 2016, Abuja – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachukwu, is to set up a committee to examine the demands of oil and gas unions over the new structure of the NNPC, according to a trade unionist. Mr Sale Abdullahi,
Chairman of the NNPC Branch of PENGASSAN made the disclosure in an interview in Abuja on Thursday.
He made no mention when the committee would be set up.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria embarked on strike to protest the new NNPC structure. The unions shut offices of the NNPC nationwide, following the announcement of re-organisation of the establishment by the minister.
The unions claimed that the new structure did not follow due process and was not in consonance with the laws establishing the NNPC. Abdullahi said, however, that the unions had decided to call off the strike after reaching an agreement with the minister.
“We had a meeting with the minister and we have reached an agreement that all our demands concerning labour issues must be considered.
“This is especially with the new companies that were introduced in the unbundling process. They must also consider labour issues, such as transfers, staff condition of service, among others. “We have asked that staff should be a major issue for consideration and the minister has promised to look into it.
“The minister has also agreed to set up a committee to follow up and also ensure that what we agreed upon is followed to the very end.’’ The unionist also said the unions were going to set up a committee to follow up on their demands. NUPENG and PENGASSAN in separate statements on Tuesday said the move to unbundle the NNPC was an attempt to provoke oil and gas workers and cause industrial unrest in the country.
“We condemn the unilateral action of the Minister of State, Dr Ibe Kachukwu, as the decision is not in consonance with the laws establishing the NNPC.”
On Tuesday, Kachukwu announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the unbundling of the corporation into four units. The units are Upstream Company, Downstream Company, Refinery Company, Gas and Power Company.