July 18, 2020

COVID-19: NUPENG begs ExxonMobile, SPDC, others to protect Nigerian jobs

COVID-19: NUPENG begs ExxonMobile, SPDC, others to protect Nigerian jobs
  • By Ahiuma Young

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has pleaded with international oil companies, IOCs, especially ExxonMobil, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, as well as indigenous companies and contractors, to protect the jobs of Nigerian workers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, the union commended Indorama Eleme Petrochemical, Chevron Nigeria Limited and few others for ensuring job security of Nigerian workers amid COVID-19.

NUPENG, in a communiqué by its President and General Secretary, Prince William Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, respectively, at the end of the union’s virtual National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Lagos, commended members who have been working in the face of all the risks and challenges of the period.

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Stressing the need for COVID-19 not to lead to Nigerians losing their jobs, NUPENG noted that workers “had been out there day and night, working hard to keep the economy of our great country running and productive. These are highly productive and patriotic Nigerians in crude oil and natural gas prospecting, drilling, refining and distribution.

“They included, but not limited to, the petroleum tanker drivers, petrol stations workers, depot workers, independent/major marketers workers, etc.

“The NEC in session salutes their courage, commitment and selfless service to the nation. The council in session notes that some of our members in the course of carrying out these onerous tasks, have been infected and sometimes murdered by security agents during this period.

“The NEC in session commiserates with the families of those who lost their beloved ones and empathise with those affected and infected by the pandemic.”

The union also commended “the media for the wonderful work they have been rendering to humanity, even in this period of COVID-19 pandemic, through education and information to the public.

“The council in session also notes with appreciation some of the employers in the industry, who have been consistently showing empathy and support to their workers during this trying period.

“The NEC in session recognises the fact that businesses have also suffered so many setbacks during this period, and every employer that still respects and guarantees worker’s rights and benefits deserves our appreciation and commendations.

“Prominent amongst these companies, who were noted to have shown remarkable empathy and support to workers at this auspicious times, include Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Plc, in Port-Harcourt, Chevron Nigeria Limited and, to a great extent, Total E&P and Total Nigeria.

“The council in session hopes that other IOCs such as ExxonMobil, Shell Petroleum Development Company and indigenous companies/contractors would emulate the aforementioned companies by protecting jobs, rights and benefits of their workforce, including contract workers and service providers.”

The union equally commended the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for their commitment and untiring efforts in saving jobs and making quick interventions on all matters of unfair labour practices by some IOCs and ingenious companies/contractors, during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.