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NUPENG, PENGASSAN Suspends Strike Over Planned Sale Of Refineries

Source: pointblanknews.com
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Major oil workers' unions, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas

(NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of

Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have put off their proposed strike over the Federal

Government's plan to put on sale the country's four refineries.

The indefinite strike was to have started this week and would have

paralyzed the entire oil and gas sector.
But the decision to put off the planned strike was informed by

government's resolve to back down on the planned sale of the refineries

following an outrage against the move by the unions.

With the resolve to dialogue with the Federal Government over the matter

rather than totally paralyzing the oil and gas sector with an indefinite

strike, the Federal Government has agreed to now work with the unions to

formulate workable business models and strategies for the refineries

instead of outright sale.
And in line with the new thinking, the Turn Around Maintenance (TMA) which

is already in process by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would be

continued.
The agreement to this effect was arrived at on Tuesday night after a

meeting between the unions and the Federal Government. The meeting was

organized by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu,

in Abuja.
Present at the meeting were the Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani

Alison-Madueke; NUPENG President, Mr. Igwe Achese; PENGASSAN President,

Mr. Babatunde Ogun; Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries Labour and

Petroleum Resources, Dr. Clement Illoh and Mr. Danladi Kefasi as well as

the national executive members of the two unions.
Speaking before the meeting which held behind closed doors began, Wogu had

said: “We want to find a common ground to resolve the problems in the oil

and gas sector, you all know the issues at stake but we would ensure that

we reach a compromise to avert any strike in the sector.”

Also speaking before the commencement of the meeting, Alison-Madueke noted

that the meeting was 'absolutely critical' on topical issues raised in the

last few days.
The agreement reached at the end of the meeting was jointly signed by the

Alison-Madueke, NUPENG and PENGASSAN Presidents, Igwe Achese and Babatunde

Ogun as well as the General Secretaries of the two unions.

The agreement which was read out by Wogu said: “Trade unions in the oil

and gas sector of the economy namely NUPENG and PENGASSAN have agreed with

the federal government to engage in social dialogue to develop viable and

workable business models for the nation's refineries.

“Based on the above understanding, the trade unions in the oil and gas

sector shall not embark on any form of industrial actions over the subject

matter.”