Crisis rocking the oil and gas industry,over the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation(NNPC) took a critical dimension on Wednesday,as unions within the sector officially announced an indefinite strike.
Shortly after a mild protest was staged at the NNPC headquarters, Abuja disrupting official activities for the day,some executive members of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG) led by Comrade Odudu Benjamin Udofia and Comrade Salah Abdulahi respectively relocated to Chida Hotels in Abuja,where they officially declared a national strike.
Comrade Udofia hinged the strike on total disregard of engagement with stakeholders by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.
He alleged that the whole process of unbundling the corporation has been shrouded in secrecy for too long without involving any of the stakeholders.
“The in-house unions are suspicious of the intent of the present unbundling as nobody could explain its direction. This even became clearer with the consolidation of operational units with heavy financial transactions under the office of the GMD.
“There is inconsistency and general lack of understanding of the corporation as evident by summersault in policy by the Minister of State,Petroleum.
“The directorate structure was initially trimmed down as a cost saving measure,this was applauded because it was in line with the intention of government. However,the same structure that was dropped is now back in disguise with only change in nomenclature,how are we sure very soon they will not have reasons to change it again.
“The refineries are suppose to be independent in the unbundling process but the basis of independence has not been addressed,crude supply,turn around maintenance and the enabling environment has not been provided for them to be independent” he said