The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has begun a nationwide strike on Monday, December 18, 2017. And this has led to a chaotic traffic situation in major cities across Nigeria.
According to the body, this action is necessitated by the lay-off of its members by Neconde Energy Services Limited (NESL). The NESL is the inheritor of OML 42 and other oil properties of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
“PENGASSAN is on industrial action as a result of unfair labour practices by some companies, particularly indigenous oil and gas companies,” said Okugbawa.
Government effort to curb the strike falls
The Nigerian government had swung into action to reconcile both parties,. This is necessary towards avoiding the suffering that goes with this action, especially as the Yuletide period approaches.
Mr Chirs Ngige, Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment said in a statement issued by the country’s Labour Ministry pleaded with the union to shelve planned in the spirit of reconciliation move by the government.
“We recall that the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige had on Wednesday, December 13 and Thursday, December 14, 2017, brokered long hours of conciliation between PENGASSAN and Neconde Energy Services Ltd and secured an agreement,” the Minister said.
“By that agreement, Neconde shall invite the sacked branch chairman of PENGASSAN and hold the heart to heart discussion with him while PENGASSAN is to hold back proposed action pending the reconvening of the meeting in the second week of January 2018….”
“We, therefore, wish to appeal to the Central Working Committee of PENGASSAN to reconsider its decision, respect the agreement and call off the scheduled action in the overall interest of the nation…. This appeal has become imperative in order to save Nigerians from further hardship in this season of Christmas and the New Year.”