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Oil Marketers Sack Workers Over N650bn FG’s Debt

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Oil marketers have commenced a reduction of their workforce due to their inability to pay staff salaries.
Some of the marketers, who preferred anonymity, confirmed to reporters on Wednesday in Lagos that they resorted to adopt a massive sack of their workers as the Federal Government had yet to pay an outstanding N650 billion debts owed them.
They said they did not have any other option to control their increasing debt burden of borrowing to pay salaries than to embark on staff disengagement.
According to them, the majority of marketers are indebted to banks because for funds they borrowed to pay workers’ salaries.
“Retrenchment became necessary as some marketers have already closed their depots, while others have also reduced workers’ salaries by 75 per cent due to their inability to sustain the payments.
“It is a difficult time for the oil marketers because we are currently facing the headwinds in the oil market.
“Some of our members are finding it difficult to pay salaries and other overhead costs,’’ one of the marketers said.
They, therefore, urged the federal government to expedite action on the payment of outstanding debts owed to marketers, in order to help them to sustain their businesses.
Another source said the marketers were under continuous pressure from their banks and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), “with looming threats of imminent take-over of our petrol stations and tank farms.
“In the light of the above and after exhausting all formal avenues to secure payment of these debts, we have notified the federal government of the likelihood of disengaging our personnel.
“We are told that President Muhammadu Buhari has signed for the payment of the debt but it is yet to get to the National Assembly for their consent.
“We hope this will be addressed to salvage the situation’’.
It would be recalled that the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) on Feb. 20 gave the government a 14-day ultimatum to settle the N650 billion debts owed to its members.
The Executive Secretary of the Association, Mr Olufemi Adewole, had said failure to meet the deadline would compel marketers to disengage their workers.
Adewole alleged that a letter was written to the Presidency on Jan. 24 but the government had failed to respond to the plight of the petroleum marketers.

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Firm Launches New Radio Campaign For Product

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An oil and gas firm, 11 Plc, has launched a new jingle for its mobil super lubricants.
The firm in a statement recently indicated that it is the sole distributor of Mobil fuel and lubricant brands in Nigeria, noting that the radio campaign was aimed at making the brand Nigerian customers’ choice.
“The campaign, which hit the airwaves three weeks ago, was launched to create fresh awareness for all category users of the premium lubricants during the Easter and Ramadan period and beyond”, the statement said.
According to the firm, Mobil Superbrand is a global family of premium passenger vehicle engine oils that provides different levels of protection to match whatever conditions users of the products may encounter.
The company said its vision was to be the number one business group in Nigeria in terms of sustained service, quality and reliability and the first brand of preference by the consumers whilst conducting operations with high safety standards and environmental compliance.
It added that it aimed to provide the best in class products, services and solutions to customers with a focus on safety and environmental standards.

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Arik Air Explains Flight Cancellation In PH Airport

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Arik Airline has clarified that the incident that resulted in passengers getting stranded at Port Harcourt Airport last Tuesday was due to adverse weather conditions.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Manager of the airline, Adebanji Ola.
Some passengers of the Arik Air had expressed frustration over being left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport after their flight to Lagos was abruptly cancelled.
The affected passengers, scheduled for the flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos State, got upset by the development, and took to social media platforms to express their grievances.
Nevertheless, the airline had in the statement, reiterated its commitment to safety, highlighting its strict policy to avoid flying in inclement weather conditions, which they said had necessitated the cancellation of the affected flight.
It extended its apologies to customers whose travel plans were disrupted by the unforeseen circumstances, reaffirming its dedication to prioritising passenger welfare.
“We are aware of a recent story circulated in social media alleging that passengers were left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport under our care. It is imperative that we provide clarity on this matter to rectify any misconceptions.
“In the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 2024, our flight W3 744 Lagos-Port Harcourt was compelled to make an air return due to adverse weather conditions, specifically heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in Port Harcourt.
“Consequently, both the Lagos-Port Harcourt (W3 744) and Port Harcourt-Lagos (W3 745) flights had to be cancelled.
“It is crucial to note that by the time of the cancellation, our banking facilities at the airport had ceased operations, rendering funds unfeasible at that moment.
“However, the passengers were promptly briefed on the situation and advised to return the following day for re-protection on available flights”, it stated.
The statement added that on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, all the affected passengers from both Lagos and Port Harcourt were successfully accommodated on available morning and evening flights.

Corlins Walter

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Settlement On Course For Redundancy Benefits – Aero Airline 

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The Aero Contractors Airline has affirmed  its commitment to clear the remaining five per cent of redundancy benefits owed its workers.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Ado Sanusi, in a press release said the firm was intensifying efforts to address outstanding financial commitments.
He faulted the move by workers union, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), to issue a press statement, despite ongoing efforts to resolve the issue amicably.
“This should not be an opportunity for disharmony, dialogue is a process. There was a letter written, there was a process agreed upon, and all of a sudden they went to the press. We are ready to resolve the issue”, the CEO stated.
NAAPE had recently issued a letter threatening to go on a protest over non-payment of outstanding redundancy benefits to its members.
The group accused the management of Aero Contractors of depriving the affected former workers access to their entitled benefits.
The protest letter, addressed to the management of the airline, read in part: “Consequent upon the avalanche of complaints received from our members who have been deprived of their fundamental entitlements and denied the rightful collection of their redundancy benefits in the last seven years and given the anguish and mental agonies suffered by them, We are compelled, as responsible representatives of these eminent men/women, including the dead, to protest through this letter and express our bitterness over management’s seeming lackadaisical attitude, insincerity and insensitivity to the continued wellbeing of these great Nigerians”.
The Aero CEO, however, clarified that in the last seven years, the company has paid approximately 95 per cent of the redundancy benefits.
“We should be given credit because this management initiated the process of paying off redundancy. We want our prospective investors to understand that we are a very responsible company, and we take our obligations seriously, not only for staff but also in other areas.
“We update them on a day-to-day basis to ensure business continuity. It is a very tough environment in which we are operating”, he said.
Sanusi stressed the importance of maintaining transparency and communication with stakeholders throughout the process.
He said despite challenges posed by fluctuating exchange rates and fuel costs, Aero Contractors remained steadfast in its efforts to uphold its obligations and ensure business continuity.

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