Reps summon Minister, NUPENG, over planned oil workers’ strike

Worried by the looming crisis in the oil and gas sector and the threat by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to em­bark on strike, the House of Representatives Joint Com­mittees on Petroleum (Up­stream), Petroleum (Down­stream) and Gas Resources yesterday summoned the Pe­troleum Minister, Mrs. Die­zani Alison-Madueke.

Also to appear before the lawmakers today are the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petro­leum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawah, and the leadership of PEN­GASSAN and NUPENG workers.

In a statement signed by the Chairmen of the three com­mittees, Muraina Ajibola (Pe­troleum Upstream), Dakuku Peterside (Petroleum Down­stream) and Bassey Ewa (Gas Resources), the move is to avert the planned strike by NUPENG and PENGAS­SAN, which, according to the lawmakers, can cripple the na­tion’s oil and gas sector.

The statement reads in part: “The Joint Oil and Gas Com­mittee of the House of Rep­resentatives is concerned by the planned strike as reported in the media, by staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“Our concern is driven by the major role oil and gas plays in our economy and the enormous damage any disrup­tion in the system will cause for the Nigerian people.

“Alive to our constitutional responsibilities, the Joint House Committees on Oil and Gas have decided to intervene in this matter with a view to resolving whatever the issues may be.

“Accordingly, we have invited the Minister of Pe­troleum Resources and the affected unions and relevant stakeholders in the sector to a meeting for today at 11: 00am at the House of Representa­tives.

Given the urgency of this matter, it is our hope that the relevant parties will attend this meeting. We enjoin the par­ties to work with us to resolve their differences in the over­all interest of the nation,” the statement said.

Recall that NNPC workers had under the aegis of um­brella unions, PENGASSAN and NUPENG, shut down operations nationwide over irregular funding of their pen­sion scheme, which has led to about N85 billion deficit.

Source : SunOnline

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