The workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Employees, are threatening to commence a nationwide strike beginning from January 1, 2014, if the government fails to retract plans to privatise the country’s four refineries.
The oil and gas workers disclosed this during a peaceful protest held at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja on Tuesday, where they demanded that the Federal Government call on the minister of petroleum resources, to rescind the decision or face massive fuel scarcity.
Mr. Babatunde Ogun, the President, PENGASSAN, said the union had given the government a one-week ultimatum to halt its plan to sell the refineries to private investors.
He said, “If between now and December 24 we don’t hear anything from the government, we will mobilise, and between that time and the end of the year we will expect a retraction but if they fail to retract, then rest assured that in the first week of January all oil and gas workers in Nigeria will go on a total strike.”
He added that the government cannot be trusted with agreements as series of agreements had been signed in the past.
Ogun said, “Instead of selling our national asset, we should implement the Petroleum Industry Bill for it will give us a direction. The PIB has been in the National Assembly for years waiting to be passed, but up till now nothing meaningful has happened.
“They come out to tell Nigerians that we cannot work and cannot do business. If Nigerians cannot do anything properly, it means the Presidency and others in the Villa cannot govern Nigeria. So let us go and look for people to govern us.”