Workers of Nigeria’s state-owned oil corporation end strike action after talks

Workers of Nigeria’s state-owned oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have suspended a strike action embarked upon in protest of the splitting of the corporation.

The government had announced the splitting of the NNPC into seven independent units to the chagrin of the oil workers who rejected the move. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, announced the unbundling of the oil company into seven independent units: Upstream, Downstream, Gas & Power Marketing, Refineries and Ventures, Corporate Planning & Services and Finance and Accounts.

The strike action led to fuel scarcity in the country which is Africa’s largest crude producer.

However, the strike has now been called off following an extensive session presided over by Dr Kachikwu, who is also the Group managing Director of NNPC, on Thursday.

A statement by the oil company says improved collaboration between the minister and Unions “would ensure continual consultation on issues”.

Rising from the meeting, the NNPC Management and leadership of the Unions — The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) — pledged to work together to eliminate prevailing challenges in accessing petroleum products.

“We thank the leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN for their unalloyed support and sheer commitment to work for a FACT based #NewNNPC,” the state oil company said.

The minister was invited for a meeting today by a parliamentary Committee on Petroleum over the restructuring of the NNPC. After the meeting, the committee said it was convinced that the law was not contravened in the restructuring process which promises to make the state-owned company profitable. The corporation lost up to N30 billion ($151 million) monthly in recent times and lost N3 billion ($15.1 million) last month.