…Threatens to withdraw fuel supply to Abuja
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to listen to calls by millions of Nigerians to dissolve his cabinet for non-performance and inject new blood that could rescue the nation.
The union also threatened to withdraw fuel supply to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs over disagreement with the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCOM).
Addressing newsmen on the outcome of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, NUPENG’s President, Igwe Achese, said the living conditions of Nigerians were very poor; economy in shambles and the economic recovery efforts very slow.
He argued that the government must not rely on party membership in political appointments, stressing that Nigeria has abundance of technocrats who could be appointed as ministers.
The ultimatum to the Federal Government to intervene was due to over N3 billion terminal benefits allegedly owed oil workers recently disengaged from Seawolf drilling, an oil servicing firm in Rivers State. NUPENG noted that the management of AMCOM was being lackadaisical in meeting its obligation of settling the workers who are affiliates of the union their severance package.
Daily Sun gathered that more than 300 workers of the oil firm were disengaged unceremoniously in 2013, over the company’s indebtedness to a commercial bank to the tune of N25billion, before AMCOM took over the assets and liabilities of Seawolf.
Achese hoped that the two weeks grace which NUPENG has extended to the Government may attract the necessary intervention.
He said, “For the past four years we have been discussing the issue of redundancy and closure of Seawolf of which AMCOM which is a federal agency took over since 2013.
NUPENG President said: “It is very unfortunate to state clearly those workers of the company that AMCOM took over, AMCOM has refused to pay them their terminal benefits since 2013 and therefore the union in a very strong resolution is requesting the federal government to prevail on AMCOM to open windows for dialogue to pay these Seawolf workers whom they took over.
“Of course you will agree with me that taking over a company such as the case of AMCOM; you are taking both liabilities and assets and as such we have written series of letters to the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Labour to the security agencies the DSS and all agencies expected to be notified on this issue.
“We are aware that AMCOM instead of paying these workers and negotiating the terminal benefits of these workers have decided to take the matter to court and we are faced with series of adjournment since 2013.
“We therefore have no choice as a union than to write an open letter to Mr President and the Acting President to take all necessary steps to address the issues of Seawolf and that of Chevron.
“However we gave notice to Federal Government in our earlier letters that failure to address these issues, the NEC in session has taken a decision that within two weeks of not addressing these issues, NUPENG will withdraw her services into Abuja and its environs.
“At this point, we are also directing all our workers like the tanker drivers in the entire country to begin to wear red cloths and also carry leaves on their trucks in readiness for this struggle”.