The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed worry over the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the Federal Government and Oando Plc management. The government agreed to allow the oil firm manage Port Harcourt refinery, which is under repair, operate and maintain (ROM) it.
Speaking with The Nation, NUPENG’s General-Secretary, Comrade Joseph Ogbebor said the arrangement is faulty, not transparent and did not involve the other stakeholders, especially the two oil workers’ unions – NUPENG and PENGASSAN.
He cautioned the Federal Government on the takeover bid by Oando, saying that the union will resist it, if it leads to job losses.
Oando Plc., he said, was not a worker-friendly organisation as it detests unionization in all its subsidiaries and companies.
“It is not against the Federal Government’s reforms to overhaul the Oil and Gas sector, but it should not be to the detriment of the oil and gas workers.
“We vowed to resist with full force the arrangement by Oando, if the oil workers who have put the refinery working with poor funding and obsolete equipment are thrown into the unemployment market by Oando,” he said.
Ogbebor said the change promised by the present administration is to generate more jobs and not kill jobs and that Oando, he alleged, is known for outsourcing and contracting jobs where such workers have no conditions of service and are not allowed to unionise.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to involve the two unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN in the arrangement before it is signed by the end of July, 2017, in order to avert a major industrial crisis in the Oil and Gas sector of the economy.
Last week, the Federal Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria’s largest indigenous energy group, Oando Plc to manage the Port Harcourt Refinery under a repair, operate and maintain (ROM) arrangement.
Oando’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wale Tinubu, who at a presentation on the underlying facts of the group’s operations at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, said the group has received approval of the government to oversee the Port Harcourt Refinery.
He noted that the group has deleveraged its balance sheet through the divestment of its upstream services company, Oando Energy Services, and embarked on the expansion of its retail and gas footprint through a strategic partnership with Helios Investment Partners and Vitol Group to re-capitalize its downstream business for $210 million, and the $115.8 equity buy-in of its Gas and Power business by Helios Investment Partners.