A statement by the Deputy Director, Press in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere said “with the conciliation by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, the impending action by PENGASSAN stands effectively arrested in line with the provisions of the relevant labour laws whose powers are invested in the Honorable Minister.
“We recall that the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige had on Wednesday, December 13 and Thursday, December 14, 2017 brokered long hours of conciliation between PENGASSAN and Neconde Energy Services Ltd and secured an agreement.
‘’By that agreement, Neconde shall invite the sacked branch chairman of PENGASSAN and hold heart to heart discussion with him while PENGASSAN is to hold back proposed action pending the reconvening of the meeting in the second week of January 2018 when other contending issues relating to other oil companies would also be sorted out.
“We therefore wish to appeal to the Central Working Committee of PENGASSAN to reconsider its decision, respect the agreement and call off the scheduled action in the overall interest of the nation, more so when adequate notice of strike was not given. This appeal has become imperative in order to save Nigerians from further hardship in this season of Christmas and the New Year.”
There were indications that Nigeria’s fuel shortage would worsen this week as oil workers tackle Neconde Energy Limited over labour issues in the petroleum industry.
The oil workers, under the umbrella of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, disclosed that it would from today withdraw its workers from work in response to the sack of its members by the company.
Although, PENGASSAN is made up of mainly senior staff, it was speculated that the proposed strike would worsen the prolonged fuel shortage in many parts of Nigeria, including Abuja and Lagos.
Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC said in a telephone interview that the Corporation was still in consultation with the parties.
However, Vanguard investigations and survey in many retail outlets showed that motorists have started to form long queues in expectation of increased shortage.