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We’ll cripple sector – Workers

The crisis in the Nigerian petroleum
sector seems to have
deepened as workers
of the unbundled Nigeria
National Petroleum Corporation
have threatened to frustrate
the Federal Government’s
plans to create more subsidiaries
out of the apex petroleum
regulator, investigations by
The Point have revealed.
One of the workers, who
prefers anonymity, alleged
that Government’s plan, which
was supported by the Dr. Ibe
Kachikwu-led management of
the NNPC, was to retrench the
workers like it did in the power
sector.
According to him, the board
has connived with the Federal
Government to edge the workers
out after the unbundling
process, which is the reason it
failed to engage the union in
the process before implementation.
A member of the Petroleum
and Natural Gas Senior Staff
Association of Nigeria, who
is not in a position to talk officially,
told The Point that the
union and other stakeholders
had met with Government
to dialogue over the matter,
noting that the government
agreed to work with the
unions to formulate workable
business models and strategies
for the corporation instead of
unbundling.
“What it means is that the
government had written the
script of its performance even
before the meeting. What it is
doing now is to implement
what they have agreed behind
closed doors. But we are also
ready to cripple the sector and
force the Dr. Kachikwu-led
team to listen to us and treat us
like stakeholders and not spectators
in the sector,” he said.
The minister did it
single-handedly.
Workers were not
carried along in the
process
POINT
A cross-section of participants at the 51st meeting of the committee of experts of African Petroleum Producers Association, in Abuja…on
Wednesday PHOTO: NAN
We’ll cripple sector – Workers
NNPC: Unbundling contradicts
NNPC Act – Lawyers
provisions that deal
with its structure,
operations,
pensions
and transfer of
the employees.
For the government
to restructure
the NNPC, the
Act must either be repealed,
or amended. If this was
not done, the exercise would
amount to lack of respect for
the rule of law and it may
truncate the Petroleum Industry
Bill, which is expected to be
the legal instrument for the ongoing
reforms of the oil and gas
industry,” he explained.
Also, human rights lawyer,
Mr. Festus Keyamo, explained
that it would be counter-productive
and might lead to a legal
battle if the workers were
retrenched after the exercise,
which he said was not impossible.
“The move is a serious
and sensitive
issue that should
have been carefully
handled. I don’t
see it helping the
state of the economy
if it leads to
retrenchment of workers.
Government should
ruminate about policies like
this and consider its effect on
citizens. You cannot say you
care for someone and yet enact
policies that will harm him.
I will not be in its support even
if it is a good move to save the
country,” Keyamo declared.
UNBUNDLING’LL
SCARE INVESTORS –
PENGASSAN
The Acting General Secretary,
PENGASSAN, Mr. Lumumba
Okugbawa, said the
move would scare investors
from the oil and gas sector that
had been struggling to survive
after the crash of the crude oil
prices at the international market.
“The minister did it singlehandedly.
Stakeholders, National
Assembly, workers and operators
were not carried along
in the process. The process has
to be reversed to follow due
process before anything can be
done on the unbundling or else
all NNPC outlets nationwide
will remain shut. That is the position
of the unions and we appeal
to President Muhammadu
Buhari to urgently reverse the
order,’’ he said.
Kachukwu had conveyed
President Buhari’s approval
of the unbundling, saying that
five of the seven units would
strictly focus on business to
meet global best practices.
The new units are: Upstream,
Downstream, Gas and
Power, Refineries, Ventures,
Corporate Planning and Services
and Finance and Accounts.
Each of them is to be headed
by Chief Executive Officers,
who Kachikwu named as Bello
Rabiu (Upstream), Henry
Ikem-Onih (Downstream),
Anibor Kragha (Refineries),
Saudu Mohammed (Gas and
Power), Babatunde Adeniran
(Ventures), Isiaka Abdulrazaq
(GMD Finance and Services)
and Isa Inuwa (Executive
Head, Corporate Services).
Efforts to confirm the allegations
levied against the GMD
of NNPC by the workers were
frustrated by the spokesperson
of the corporation, Mr. Ohi
Alegbe. When our correspondent
contacted him on telephone,
he said, “I don’t speak
with journalists on phone. If
you want to clarify anything,
come to Abuja.”
REVERSE UNBUNDLE
OR FACE INDUSTRIAL
ACTION- NLC
President
The President of the Nigeria
Labour Congress, Comrade
Wabba Ayuba, frowned at the
development and threatened to
shut down the economy if due
process was not followed.
According to him, the position
of the congress is that
whenever the government
wants to formulate a new policy,
it should engage all stakeholders.
“But it is like some people
have forgotten that we are in a
democratic dispensation. The
workers do not even know
the content of the new policy
and how it is going to improve
alternatively and that is very
important because even the
citizens are supposed to be
carried along. Strategically,
the unions and the oil workers
are those that will be affected
directly. The board must have
assumed that the workers cannot
add any value in the course
of the discussion,” Ayuba told
The Point.
IT’S ILLEGAL – Legal
experts
Some lawyers agreed with
the Federal Government that
the oil and gas sector needed
an overhaul but they argued
that the exercise was carried
out illegally.
Barrister Bisi Okeowo insisted
that the government did
not consider the existing laws
establishing the NNPC before
implementing the exercise.
“There is an existing NNPC
Act of 1977 that set up the companyThe crisis in the Nigerian
petroleum
sector seems to have
deepened as workers
of the unbundled Nigeria
National Petroleum Corporation
have threatened to frustrate
the Federal Government’s
plans to create more subsidiaries
out of the apex petroleum
regulator, investigations by
The Point have revealed.
One of the workers, who
prefers anonymity, alleged
that Government’s plan, which
was supported by the Dr. Ibe
Kachikwu-led management of
the NNPC, was to retrench the
workers like it did in the power
sector.
According to him, the board
has connived with the Federal
Government to edge the workers
out after the unbundling
process, which is the reason it
failed to engage the union in
the process before implementation.
A member of the Petroleum
and Natural Gas Senior Staff
Association of Nigeria, who
is not in a position to talk officially,
told The Point that the
union and other stakeholders
had met with Government
to dialogue over the matter,
noting that the government
agreed to work with the
unions to formulate workable
business models and strategies
for the corporation instead of
unbundling.
“What it means is that the
government had written the
script of its performance even
before the meeting. What it is
doing now is to implement
what they have agreed behind
closed doors. But we are also
ready to cripple the sector and
force the Dr. Kachikwu-led
team to listen to us and treat us
like stakeholders and not spectators
in the sector,” he said.
The minister did it
single-handedly.
Workers were not
carried along in the
process
POINT
A cross-section of participants at the 51st meeting of the committee of experts of African Petroleum Producers Association, in Abuja…on
Wednesday PHOTO: NAN
We’ll cripple sector – Workers
NNPC: Unbundling contradicts
NNPC Act – Lawyers
provisions that deal
with its structure,
operations,
pensions
and transfer of
the employees.
For the government
to restructure
the NNPC, the
Act must either be repealed,
or amended. If this was
not done, the exercise would
amount to lack of respect for
the rule of law and it may
truncate the Petroleum Industry
Bill, which is expected to be
the legal instrument for the ongoing
reforms of the oil and gas
industry,” he explained.
Also, human rights lawyer,
Mr. Festus Keyamo, explained
that it would be counter-productive
and might lead to a legal
battle if the workers were
retrenched after the exercise,
which he said was not impossible.
“The move is a serious
and sensitive
issue that should
have been carefully
handled. I don’t
see it helping the
state of the economy
if it leads to
retrenchment of workers.
Government should
ruminate about policies like
this and consider its effect on
citizens. You cannot say you
care for someone and yet enact
policies that will harm him.
I will not be in its support even
if it is a good move to save the
country,” Keyamo declared.
UNBUNDLING’LL
SCARE INVESTORS –
PENGASSAN
The Acting General Secretary,
PENGASSAN, Mr. Lumumba
Okugbawa, said the
move would scare investors
from the oil and gas sector that
had been struggling to survive
after the crash of the crude oil
prices at the international market.
“The minister did it singlehandedly.
Stakeholders, National
Assembly, workers and operators
were not carried along
in the process. The process has
to be reversed to follow due
process before anything can be
done on the unbundling or else
all NNPC outlets nationwide
will remain shut. That is the position
of the unions and we appeal
to President Muhammadu
Buhari to urgently reverse the
order,’’ he said.
Kachukwu had conveyed
President Buhari’s approval
of the unbundling, saying that
five of the seven units would
strictly focus on business to
meet global best practices.
The new units are: Upstream,
Downstream, Gas and
Power, Refineries, Ventures,
Corporate Planning and Services
and Finance and Accounts.
Each of them is to be headed
by Chief Executive Officers,
who Kachikwu named as Bello
Rabiu (Upstream), Henry
Ikem-Onih (Downstream),
Anibor Kragha (Refineries),
Saudu Mohammed (Gas and
Power), Babatunde Adeniran
(Ventures), Isiaka Abdulrazaq
(GMD Finance and Services)
and Isa Inuwa (Executive
Head, Corporate Services).
Efforts to confirm the allegations
levied against the GMD
of NNPC by the workers were
frustrated by the spokesperson
of the corporation, Mr. Ohi
Alegbe. When our correspondent
contacted him on telephone,
he said, “I don’t speak
with journalists on phone. If
you want to clarify anything,
come to Abuja.”
REVERSE UNBUNDLE
OR FACE INDUSTRIAL
ACTION- NLC
President
The President of the Nigeria
Labour Congress, Comrade
Wabba Ayuba, frowned at the
development and threatened to
shut down the economy if due
process was not followed.
According to him, the position
of the congress is that
whenever the government
wants to formulate a new policy,
it should engage all stakeholders.
“But it is like some people
have forgotten that we are in a
democratic dispensation. The
workers do not even know
the content of the new policy
and how it is going to improve
alternatively and that is very
important because even the
citizens are supposed to be
carried along. Strategically,
the unions and the oil workers
are those that will be affected
directly. The board must have
assumed that the workers cannot
add any value in the course
of the discussion,” Ayuba told
The Point.
IT’S ILLEGAL – Legal
experts
Some lawyers agreed with
the Federal Government that
the oil and gas sector needed
an overhaul but they argued
that the exercise was carried
out illegally.
Barrister Bisi Okeowo insisted
that the government did
not consider the existing laws
establishing the NNPC before
implementing the exercise.
“There is an existing NNPC
Act of 1977 that set up the company

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