Oil workers nationwide on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 shut down operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) around the country following the announcement by Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum the cooperation would be unbundled into 7 units.
According to The Cable, members of staff and management of the NNPC could not gain access to their offices owing to the strike. Asides the fact that offices were not opened, indications have it that the impact of the strike will be nationwide fuel scarcity as products will not be lifted by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). The said strike is not expected to affect the exportation of crude oil except the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) joins in the industrial action.
Kachikwu, had announced the creation of seven independent units on Tuesday, namely: downstream, gas and power, refineries, ventures, corporate planning and services, and finance and accounts.
NUPENG had on convened an emergency meeting at 10pm on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, with the Group Executive Committee issuing a message to all members which read: “The GEC of NUPENG & PENGASSAN at its meeting of 8th March 2016, which started at 10:00pm has extensively discussed the pronouncement of the GMD on NNPC UNBUNDLING. We observed that the GMD/HMSP totally disregarded due process and failed to engage STAKEHOLDERS. Hence, from midnight today, ALL NNPC LOCATIONS will be SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY until further notice. Further directives will be communicated accordingly.”
When the NNPC headquarters was visited on Wednesday, hundreds of staff were seen outside their offices causing heavy traffic along Herbert Macaulay Way as unionists barricaded the entrance to the NNPC building.
One NNPC staff member who spoke anonymously said he was at the office by 7:30am on Wednesday, but “it barricaded by members of PENGASSAN.”
When a union leader was met for comments, he said: “We are not here for journalists. This is not for the press.”