Oil workers caution on Oando’s take-over of Port Harcourt refinery
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has cautioned the Federal Government on Oando’s bid to take over the Port Harcourt Refinery, saying it would resist the move as it would lead to unnecessary job losses.
The union urged government to be transparent and involve all stakeholders in the management of the Port Harcourt Refinery, which is under repair, operate and maintain (ROM) arrangement.
It described the take-over arrangement as faulty, saying it was not transparent and did not involve other stakeholders, especially NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN.)
“We are worried and disturbed about the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the Federal Government and Oando Plc to manage the Port Harcourt Refinery under a ROM arrangement.
The General Secretary of NUPENG, Comrade Joseph Ogbebor said the union would resist Federal Government’s plans to sell the refinery to Oando, especially if it leads to job losses.
He stressed that Oando Plc was not an employee-friendly organisation as it detests unionisation in all its subsidiaries and companies.
The union stressed that it was not against the Federal Government’s reforms to overhaul the oil and gas sector, but warned that such reforms should not come at the expense of the workers.
“We vow to resist the arrangement by Oando, if the oil workers who have revived the refinery with poor funding and obsolete equipment are thrown into the unemployment market.
NUPENG said that the change promised by the present administration was to generate more jobs and not kill jobs and that Oando was known for outsourcing and contracting jobs where such workers have no conditions of service and were not allowed to unionise.
It therefore called on the Federal Government to involve the unions in the arrangement before it signs the MoU by the end of July 2017 to avert a major industrial crisis in the economy.