By Bimbola Oyesola
Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) yesterday vowed to ensure its members in Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria branch are fairly treated in the industrial crisis going on between the staff and the management.
The union tasked the Federal Government to prevail on the management of the company to address the anti-labour practices and payment of the workers exit packages as Addax is ready to exit Nigeria.
The workers on Friday resumed their suspended strike which now might have further depleted Nigeria’s oil production level as Addax’s 22,000 barrel being the company’s production level has since been suspended.
Addax is owned by China’s Sinopec Group with four Oil Mining Licences, OML 123, 124, 126 and 137. The company is operating the assets in Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited. Government withdrew the operating licences from Addax in March 2021 due to the company’s refusal to fully develop the oil wells.
NNPC has since taken over the Assets hitherto ran by Addax and has resumed lifting all the oil thereof since June 2022.
According to the workers, Addax has tidied up on her exit, but the NNPC has refused to execute the exit agreement for reasons best known to it, adding that while this drama continues to linger, the employees continue to suffer.
The workers under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), alleged that the NNPC and Addax management have refused to address issues that led to the August 2022 strike.
In a letter addressed to PENGASSAN General Secretary and signed by PENGASSAN Addax Branch Secretary, Ken Olubor, the workers accused the company of engaging anti-labour practices that endangered their safety and security.
The workers alleged that Addax Petroleum has failed to provide purpose, growth, recognition, security and advancement to them, all of which are basic traits of a good working environment, adding, “As a matter of fact, we no longer pray for improved working conditions, but only hope to be alive to reap the benefits of the many years we have put in at Addax Petroleum, as the prevailing situation is taking a heavy toll on the health and mental wellbeing of our union members.”
The letter read in part, “SINOPEC has withheld funding her Nigeria operation (Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria) following its ongoing exit which has created safety and operational challenges for employees and the much-anticipated operational funding from the NNPC/NAPIMS is yet to be received.
“The safety and security of our members has been compromised. Addax Izombe facility OML-124 recently suffered an attempted bomb blast incident around staff accommodation area. Employees working in the field have recently been exposed to increased security and safety threats as our onshore location continues to come under siege by unknown armed men.
“This situation is evident in the reoccurring high medical bills recorded by the Company’s Human Resource Department.”