– Says Oando arm-twisted Eni to sell off Agip
Port Harcourt — Oil workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, have picketed the entrance to the Port Harcourt office of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in protest over the sale of NAOC by Eni, allegedly without due process.
The protesting oil workers numbering over a thousand, peacefully protested with placards bearing different inscriptions such as “Eni where is our pension?” “Eni where is our ESP?” “No to transfer without severance” amongst others.
Leader of the protest and Chairman of PENGASSAN Agip Branch, Comrade Survival Eyong, alleged that that Oando Plc arm-twisted Eni into selling NAOC JV by refusing to pay its cash calls obligation for years.
Eyong appealed to the National Assembly, regulators, Federal Ministry of Petroleum and all relevant bodies that are party to the consummation of the sale, to turn down the sale of Agip, alleging that due process was not followed.
He said, “We are in utmost shock that Oando Plc known to be debtors as a matter of fact let it be clear, part of the problem Nigerian Agip Oil Company is facing is caused by Oando. Oando has refused to bring cash calls, equipment that started going bad which need cash calls to be fixed, Oando refused to fulfill their cash call’s obligations.
“If you use your tongue to count your teeth you will see a plan hatched several years ago intended to frustrate Agip to get to a point where they would be forced to sell off by the same perpetrators who put them in this condition.
“Let it be clear to all Nigerians that we (PENGASSAN) are against the sale of NAOC, that very transaction will not stand”.
PENGASSAN further said the Union has shut down all offices and oil fields, which have caused zero gas supply to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and total black out in major areas of Abuja due to the shutdown of IPP.
“We are not a football team, the condition of service in labour states that you cannot handover an employee to a new employer without the consent of the employee, and even at that a Union officer at the highest level have to confirm that the employees did not make the decision under duress.
“All these was not done, ethically you are not supposed to break such news of selling a company to a people without considering their state of health, mental state. We have reports that the high blood pressure of most staff went up after receiving the shocking news of Oando acquiring NAOC JV.
“The Union is saying there are processes for divestment, and I want to tell Nigerians and the world at large those processes where not followed, everything was done behind our backs. They are treating the Nigerian workforce as if we are commodities, as if we are materials.
“We do not know where our pension is, we do not know where our employee savings plan staff have saved over the years is. Staff must be paid off completely, they should arrange a special severance package for the entire staff which includes in-house staff, labour contract staff, the savings contract staff, everyone must be carried along.
“Those who are giving consent in line with labour can now be transferred to Oando if they so will. The Union is angry for the total disregard of the work force, and we decided to withdraw our services in all the location’s.
“As we speak the gas that supposed to be going to NLNG has come to zero, there is no power supply in major parts of Abuja because IPP is down.”