NUPENG, AMCON to parley over N3b ex-oil workers’ benefits

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja   |   01 September 2015   |   12:44 am  

oil-industryThe National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and new management of Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) are to meet over the unpaid N3billion owed retired workers of Seawolf drilling in River State.

Over 300 workers of the oil firm were disengaged following the firm’s indebtedness to First Bank of Nigeria Plc. to the tune of N25billion, before the AMCOM took over the assets and liabilities of the Company and its three drilling rigs located in the Niger Delta creeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari had recently relieved the former AMCOM Managing Director, Mustafa Chike- Obi, with Ahmed Lawan Kuru.

After several attempts to get their 22 months severance package, the workers resorted to sit-in protest at the Unity Fountain, Abuja for about two months.

Addressing the protesters in Abuja, Acting General Secretary of NUPENG, Joseph Ogbebor, assured the workers that the union had taken up the issue with AMCOM and that it would ensure they get their terminal benefits.

He said: “We are here for our members who are Seawolf workers. Since 2013 their salaries and their terminal benefits have not been paid because the contracting company, the Offshore Management Services (OMS) and Seawolf which is the principal company was taken over by AMCOM because of professional difficulties regarding finances and the rest. So, our members have not been paid salaries ever since and right now, their terminal benefits have also not been paid. Efforts have been made to reach AMCOM on this issue and soon we would be meeting with them to address this issue once and for all.

“These protest is aimed drawing attention of the public, government and stakeholders to their plight because they are frustrated. Many of them have their children sent out of school, while some have been driven out of their homes. So, we have come back here to reassure them we want to take up this matter with the authorities, the presidency and other places to make sure that their issue is looked into so that their terminal benefits will be settled and they can be seen as workers. As at the last time we met with AMCOM, their benefits are in excess of N3billion.”

NUPENG leadership then urged the aggrieved workers go home while the association sorts out the issues with AMCOM.



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