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Crisis Looms In Indorama Over Poor Welfare

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Workers in Indorama, former Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited, have threatened to down tools if the management does not address what they called the poor salary and welfare of staff of the company.

  The Tide learnt that for the last three weeks, agitation by workers for improved welfare has been treated by management with a wave of the hand.

  The workers, who three weeks ago wore black uniforms to work to demonstrate their rejection of newly approved monthly take home pay, said their patience was running out, and may soon down tools to register their dissatisfaction with the management decision.

  But worried by the development, the management of Indorama has intensified lobby of the leaderships of both Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria (NUPENG), as a strategy to muzzle the workers.

  A reliable source told The Tide that the leaders of both unions had met at far away Calabar, the Cross River State capital, last week with the management of Indorama in a bid to resolve the issues.

  According to our source, last week’s meeting brings to three the number of such meetings without any meaningful agreement on the table.

  The Tide gathered that one of the major issues in contention is the disparity in salaries and the poor welfare packages between expatriate and indigenous staff of the company.

  It was discovered that while the expatriate staff are paid handsome remunerations, their Nigerian counterparts with better qualifications and technical experience are given paltry sums at the end of every month.

  A staff, who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide last week, that this poor salary and welfare issues against the indigenous workers was the major reason why a former managing director of the company was forced to resign following his criticism of the maltreatment and poor remunerations of the Nigerian staff.

  The Tide investigations indicate that kidnappers, who abducted some workers of Indorama a few years ago, also gave poor salaries and welfare as well as maltreatment of Nigerian staff of the company as major reasons why they struck.

  However, some of the workers, who spoke with The Tide, accused the NUPENG and PENGASSAN executives of conspiring with Indorama management to shortchange them, and threatened to stage a protest this week, should the management fail to heed their calls for improved welfare and enhanced salaries.

  When our reporter visited Indorama last week, the worried workers were seen in groups discussing the ugly situation, and perfecting their strategy for the impending industrial action.

  The workers, according to one of the union leaders, may block the main gate of the company as a means of stopping others, especially others loyal management, and visitors, from entering the premises.

  Attempts to extract official positions of the executives of both unions proved abortive as they were said to be in series of meetings with representatives of the management.

  A member of Indorama’s management, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that there has been a raging disagreement between the workers and the management over salary and welfare issues, but stated that the management was doing everything possible to resolve the imbroglio.

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Oil & Energy

NNPCL Assures On OB3 Pipeline Completion

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline would now be completed next quarter.
This is as the national oil company said it would continue to invest in the development of huge oil and gas infrastructure to make it easy for operators and prospective investors to carry out their business in Nigeria.
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, disclosed this at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
Speaking at one of the panel sessions of a luncheon organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), with the theme: “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa’s Future (Nigerian Perspective)”, Eyesan stated that NNPC Ltd.’s objective was to ensure that there is a healthy balance of energy sources in the country.
She explained that though the oil and gas sector is not where it ought to be, much progress had been made between last year’s edition of the OTC in terms of opening up the sector for investments and infrastructural development.
While identifying funding as the major challenge impeding the development of the sector, Eyesan listed some of the bright spots in the industry to include the Executive Orders signed by the President to open up the sector, the imminent resolution of the assets divestment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), and the aggressive execution of gas infrastructure projects such as the OB3 Gas Pipeline, which she said would be completed in the next quarter.

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Oil & Energy

TotalEnergies Targets 100 Startups In 2024

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As part of its support to businesses in Nigeria and Africa,  TotalEnergies Nigeria has launched the 2024 edition of its Startuppers challenge.
By this, the multinational aims at empowering 100 businesses across 32 African countries with N8 million cash prize, personalised coaching, and media representation.
The year’s edition of the challenge, launched virtually at an event attended by the Managing Director of TotalEnergies Nigeria Plc, Dr. Samba Seye, and other executives of the energy company, Last Thursday, would be used to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the multinational.
Presenting the form of this year’s competition, the General Manager, Total Country Service, TotalEnergies, Mrs Adesua Adewole, said registration for the challenge would open on May 13th and close on June 18th, 2024.
Adewole explained that 100 startups would be selected at first before 5 finalists would be selected, adding that the shortlisted businesses would pitch to a jury made of experts who would select winners across three categories.
“In December, we will have 100 businesses to celebrate in Africa. In past edition, we had  only six winners who were invited to Paris but this year, we will have 100 winners who will be going to selected location where they will be celebrated”, she said.
Adewole stated that Africa was special to TotalEnergies, hence the focus.
In her words, “Africa is special to us. When you look at Africa, our youths make up 60%.  They are the ones who will develop he continent, so we streamlined this to them to help them develop their businesses or ideas, scale up and become the business leaders of tomorrow.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”.
Explaining further, the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Dr Charles Ebereonwu, said “we have not attained 100 years before.
“Apart from celebrating 100 years, we have introduced new dimensions like your empowerment of women and equality. All entries will be subjected to whether they take into consideration these dimensions”.
Targeted by the challenge are startups less than three years old or pioneering a business idea with a positive impact on their communities and/or the planet.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”, a statement from the firm said.

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Oil & Energy

TCN Targets Power Restoration To North-East, May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said electricity supply will be fully restored to the North-East by May 27.
TCN’s spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen, weekend, said the commission’s contractors were working to erect four new transmission towers along the Jos-Gombe axis, to enable the restoration of power supply to States in the North-East region of the country.
Recall that TCN had on April 23, said four of its towers along the Jos–Gombe 330 kilo volt (kV) transmission line were vandalised, affecting electricity supply to Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi, and Jalingo.
“The tower collapse affected Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Jalingo. Immediately after the incident, however, TCN engineers worked first to redistribute available bulk supply on the Jos, Bauchi, Gombe 132kV line between Jos and Yola Discos, while work commenced immediately at reconstructing the four vandalised towers”, the commission said.
It continued that “Presently, we are rebuilding the four towers simultaneously. Progress is evident, with one tower nearing 80% completion, another at 60%, a third at 30%, and dismantling work finished on the fourth tower”.
Additionally, she said, “tower members” are being fabricated and assembled on-site to expedite work, adding that TCN is dedicated to the quick restoration of bulk power on the line route.
“Construction work on the Jos – Gombe transmission line, taking supply up to Damaturu and environs will be completed and energized by the 20th of May, 2024, while the Damaturu – Maiduguri axis will be completed on the 27th of May, 2024.
“Expectedly, bulk power transmission would be fully restored on the affected 330kV transmission line by the 27th of May. Yola and Jos DisCos would also be able to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations.
“For now, only 38MW is wheeled to both Jos and Yola Distribution companies, with each receiving 19MW each. Efforts to take some of the available power to Jalingo was hampered by very high voltage on the line, which could cause a system disturbance”.
According to the spokesperson, TCN is aware of the inconveniences caused by the current insufficient power supply through Yola and Jos DisCos to electricity customers in the affected states.
Mbah further said the company pledged to earnestly expedite work on the towers to guarantee that the towers are completed within the specified time frame.

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