By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – SOCIO-ECONOMIC activities in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and its neighbouring states may be grounded in the next two weeks as the leadership of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers. NUPENG has threatened to withdraw its services over the non payment of N3 billion severance package to the sacked workers by Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON)

Fuel scarcity

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the National President of NUPENG, comrade Igwe Achese, who issued the two-week threat notice in Abuja, expressed displeasure over the breakdown of negotiation between the Union and management of AMCON for the inability to pay the N3 billion terminal benefits for disengaged staff of Seawolf Drilling company, River State.

Comrade Achese accused AMCON of not fulfilling the agreed demands of the Union at a reconciliation meeting, adding that over 300 workers of the oil firm were disengaged unceremoniously in 2013, over the company’s indebtedness to a commercial bank to the tune of N25 billion, before AMCOM took over the assets and liabilities of Seawolf.

The NUPENG president position was sequel to the decisions reached during the National Executive Council (NEC)that preceded the briefing.

The union in its threat issued a two week ultimatum for the purpose of intervention of Federal Government and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

He said, “For the past four years we have been discussing the issue of redundancy and closure of Seawolf of which AMCOM which is a federal agency took over since 2013.

“It is very unfortunate to state clearly that workers and company that AMCON took over, AMCON has refused to pay them their terminal benefits since 2013 and therefore the union in a very strong resolution is requesting the Federal Government to prevail on AMCON to open windows for dialogue to pay these Seawolf workers whom they took over.

“Ofcourse you will agree with me that taking over a company such as the case of AMCON you are taking both liabilities and assets and as such we have written series of letters to the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Labour, to the security agencies: the DSS and all agencies expected to be notified on this issue.

“We are aware that AMCON instead of paying these workers and negotiating the terminal benefits of these workers have decided to take the matter to court and we are faced with series of adjournment since 2013.

“We therefore have no choice as a union to write an open letter to Mr President and the Acting President to take all necessary steps to address the issues of Seawolf and that of Chevron.

“However we gave notice to Federal Government in our earlier letters that failure to address these issues the NEC-in-session have taken a decision that within two weeks of not addressing these issues, NUPENG will withdraw her services into Abuja and its environ.

“At this point we are also directing all our workers like the tanker drivers in the entire country to begin to wear red cloths and also carry leaves on their trucks in readiness for this struggle,.”

Commenting on the ongoing agitation for the restructuring of the country, Achese said the campaign for has become very germane.

He said the restructuring order must take the form of fiscal federalism such that component states or region may be at liberty to control their own resources.

“On our part as a union, we canvass for true federalism to be adopted in the country, each state or region should be allowed to control their resources through fiscal federalism.

“This approach, we believe will reduce the current agitations just the way the regions of old was controlled by local resources which made room for healthy competition and development.”

Subscribe to our youtube channel

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.