The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has expressed its willingness to close down all oil field operations in the country if the ongoing negotiations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) fail to produce positive outcomes.
Comrade Festus Usifo, the President of TUC, issued this warning during an appearance on Channels Television. The concerns arise from Oando PLC’s announcement on September 4 regarding its agreement with ENI, an Italian multinational energy company, to acquire 100 percent of Nigerian AGIP Oil Company Limited’s shares.
In response to these concerns, Usifo reiterated that the Union’s stance is that Agip Company must adhere to due process. He emphasized that TUC does not support transferring its members to Oando PLC without clear development plans for workers who have dedicated many years of service to Agip Company.
Usifo stated, “Our primary concern is ensuring that our members’ rights are protected. Many of our members have served NAOC for decades, some nearing retirement, and now there’s talk of transitioning them to a new company. We need assurances about the liabilities incurred by Agip, such as pensions and gratuities. Does Oando have the financial capacity to meet these obligations to our members?”
As a patriotic organization, TUC also demands transparency regarding Oando’s development plans. Usifo emphasized that the future of TUC members depends on the stability of the company. If TUC is unsatisfied with the plans, they insist on receiving their rightful financial dues.
He added, “I’ve worked for you for 35 years, 30 years; pay me my entitlements, and let’s discuss a fair separation package so that I can move on. If I choose to join Oando, it will be based on my discretion, depending on what I see. However, my years of service to Agip and NAOC must be recognized.”
Usifo expressed doubts about Oando PLC’s ability to manage and sustain production like the International Oil Companies (IOCs), which have the financial resources to effectively manage assets. He highlighted potential challenges in maintaining production levels, especially in areas like stimulation operations and well enhancement.
Usifo emphasized the importance of Agip engaging in dialogue with the operators working in oil field locations to address their demands and concerns. He warned that if Agip refuses to comply, TUC will withdraw its members from these field locations.
He concluded, “Our current efforts involve discussions, consultations, and negotiations with Agip management.”
Meanwhile, members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Agip have conducted prayer sessions in various NAOC offices and field locations across Delta, Rivers, Imo, and Bayelsa States. These sessions are a plea for divine intervention and government support to ensure due process and protection of workers’ interests during the transition involving the sale of NAOC shares to Oando, which has caused uncertainty and apprehension among its dedicated workforce.
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