By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has picketed Total Exploration and Producing Nigerian Limited, TEPNG, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over alleged removal of the department responsible for employment from Nigeria.
The members of Total E&P PENGASSAN branch, who protested in Port Harcourt, weekend, expressed worry that the employment department of the firm had been removed and moved to Paris, France, noting that the development will affect employment generation. issues
The protesters, who preferred speaking on condition of anonymity during the protest, called on the Federal Government to investigate the development and compel the oil giant to return the department to Nigeria.
They noted that the union had related the negative implications of the said move to management of the firm, but regretted that the company went ahead with the transfer.
One of the protesters said: “This is a cry to all lovers of Nigeria, to all who cherish the youths of this great country and who wish a bright future for the country.
“It should have been expected that our corporate partners will support the laudable efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in creating jobs but Total E&P Limited has chosen the other path and has decided firmly to export jobs, Nigerian jobs, to other countries.
“Total has initiated a scheme, as directed by its global headquarters, called Total Global Service, TGS. Its aim is to centralise all the job-functions in selected locations around the world.
“We urge that this move by Total E&P Nigeria Limited be thoroughly investigated and halted by the necessary agencies.”
Meanwhile, the management of Total described the protest as illegal, adding that the firm has been in talks on the issues and wandered why the union would stage such protest.
In a statement, Charles Ebereonwu, External Relations Manager of the firm, said: “PENGASSAN has indicated that its ongoing, illegal industrial action is predicated upon the global implementation of the Total Group projects in IST and Finance Divisions of the company.
“As earlier communicated to the Association and hereby re-emphasised, management is disposed and willing to dialogue on the specific areas of concern as raised by the Association.”