From Uche Usim, Abuja
Following viral online media reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) had laid off about 500 workers as it transited into a private sector player, the national oil company has refuted the claims, describing it as the handiwork of mischief makers.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department of NNPC, Mr Garba Deen Muhammad, in a telephone chat with Daily Sun said the report was totally misleading, stressing that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) insulates workers from the arbitrary sack and salary cuts in the implementation of the Act.
He further explained that the NNPC management had proposed early retirement for workers due to exit between now and 2024 and gave them what was due to them.
He added that such an action is taken to energise the system via the injection of new hands and proper placement and must not be mischievously misconstrued to mean anyone was sacked, as nothing of such happened.
“We didn’t sack anyone. Even the PIA doesn’t allow that. Somebody sat somewhere and wrote what he felt like. If it was true, by now the labour unions would have threatened fire and brimstone. Everywhere would be tense. For the atmosphere to be calm simply means the sack report is not true.
“It should be disregarded”, he told Daily Sun.