Nigerian oil workers under the umbrellas of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have suspended their five-day nation-wide industrial action.
The strike was suspended on Friday after a meeting with the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the unions.
The suspension was contained in a communiqué read after the meeting by the President of NUPENG, Comrade Achese Igwe and jointly signed by PENGASSAN President, Comrade Francis Johnson and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Jamila Shu’ara
Igwe explained that the suspension of the strike was an outcome of the intervention of the minister and expressed hope that vexing issues that led to the strike would be resolved.
It would be recalled that operations of NNPC were shut down Tuesday last week over an N85 billion pension unabridged gap by the corporation which resulted in the withdrawal of licence of NNPC’s closed pension by regulators.
PENCOM Director-General, Mr. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu said NNPC’s Pension Scheme Licence was revoked because of the Corporation’s inability to bridge a N85 billion vacuum existing in the scheme.
Inspite of the promise by NNPC authorities to avert the strike, dissatisfied workers declared a nationwide industrial action which negatively affected operations of the corporation and fuel supply across the country with Abuja the Federal Capital Territory being the most hit.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke has shunned the invitation of the House of Representatives’ joint committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream/Downstream).
The meeting scheduled Thursday to discuss and find solution to the strike by NUPENG and PENGASSAN members was not attended by the Minister even when authorities of NNPC sent a written-note to the committee assuring that the corporation was doing everything possible to resolve the crisis.