The Federal Government yesterday met with leaders of striking oil workers and other stakeholders in the petroleum sector in a desperate effort to end the industrial action before it worsens the fuel supply chain and other socio-economic situations.
Already, the workers, on the umbrella of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN’s counterpart, operating as NUPENGASSAN, have not only stopped loading of products, major installations in both upstream and downstream have also, been shut.
The Federal Government through the Federal Ministries of Labour and Productivity as well as Petroleum Resources, slated the meeting for 11am in Abuja.
However situations reports across the country yesterday indicated high level of compliance by workers on the first day of the strike.
In Lagos, most depots were shut. At Ejigbo Depot, some tankers that loaded earlier in the day were restricted, but later allowed to move out of the depot because of the inherent danger.
At Apapa, installations owned by Mobil and Oando were said to have recorded total compliance. Though there was skeletal work by NUPENG members at Total depot, but it was later stopped in the course of the day.
While in Warri, there was no loading, while NUPENG members were seen wearing red as a sign of protest, in Port Harcourt, a strike monitoring committee member told Vanguard on condition of anonymity, that there was total compliance in all oil and gas locations, as the loading bays were shut.
Similarly, in Kaduna and Abuja, there was also total compliance on the part of PENGASSAN members.
In Kaduna, the gate of the Kaduna Refinery was shut and no entrance was allowed into the premises.
A union leader claimed that in the morning, the NNPC towers was opened for business and workers were at their desks but were later called to stop work at about 11.45 a.m.
The workers are protesting among others, the inability of the government to carry out Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, on the refineries and reduce pump prices of petroleum products in line with the slump in global prices of crude oil.
Other grievances are delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, global crude oil prices slump, non -implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act to reflect Nigerian’s in management positions and expatriate quota law, appalling state of access roads to refineries and oil depots’ facilities, insecurity in the country that has led to the death of members, appointments in government agencies in disregards to succession planning, compulsory deduction from workers’ salaries for the National Housing Fund, NHF, casualisation and contract staffing and unfair labour practice by companies and government agencies.
They also include termination of appointment of the Port Harcourt Zonal Secretary of the Association by Total Exploration and Production, Total E&P, Nigeria Limited, retardation of staff promotion in the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, non-standardisation of nomenclature and collective bargaining agreement of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, NNRA, in line with what is obtained in other agencies in the oil and gas industry, refusal of the management of Addax/Petrostuff Nigeria Limited and Chevron/Sudelletra to recall sacked staff.
Meanwhile, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in Lagos advised the Federal Government to address the grievances of the oil workers immediately and save Nigerians from another round of fuel scarcity among other implications of the strike.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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