The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, last night stepped up consultations with key agencies of government in a last ditch effort to avert the impending nationwide strike it declared last Friday.
One of the agencies involved in the negotiations was the State Security Service, petrol scarcity continues across the country.
The strike action scheduled to commence after 11:59 p.m. today followed the group’s peace meeting last week with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, which ended in a deadlock.
Prior to the meeting, the oil workers had issued a 72-hour ultimatum to government to intervene over allegations of anti-workers’ practices perpetrated against some of its members working in Neconde Energy Limited, an indigenous oil company.
The umbrella body of senior workers in the oil and gas industry had accused the management of Neconde Energy Limited of wrongful termination of the employment of some of its workers who belong to PENGASSAN.
However, the union in a statement sent to media late on Friday by its spokesperson, Fortune Obi, said following the stalemated peace meeting with Mr. Kachikwu, it had no option than to call its members out on strike today.
“Following the failure of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to settle the rift between this body (PENGASSAN) and Neconde, the management of PENGASSAN has agreed to start the strike on Monday night (December 18th, 2017),” Mr. Obi said in the statement.
However, since the statement, various agencies of government have been engaging PENGASSAN in dialogue to shelve the planned strike considering the negative impact it would have on the worsening fuel supply situation in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in a statement through his spokesperson, Samuel Olowookere, appealed to the association to consider shelving the strike in the spirit of ongoing reconciliation over the issues.
Idu Jude and Agency Report