• Friday, July 12, 2024
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200,000 bpd at risk as PENGASSAN threatens to shut Agip Oil operations

200,000 bpd at risk as PENGASSAN threatens to shut Agip Oil operations

At a time Nigeria is still struggling with low oil prices and economic recession occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound negative effects on the economy, the country yet risks losing an equivalent of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) production from Agip Oil Company Limited, following a threat to shut its operations by oil workers’ union.

The union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) is accusing Agip Oil of what it termed “unfair labour practices and intimidation of workers.”

In a letter seen by BusinessDay on Wednesday, PENGASSAN says Agip Oil has seven days, starting from Monday, January 25, to look into the concerns raised, or have its operations disrupted.

According to PENGASSAN in the letter signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, its general secretary, Agip Oil is also requested to immediately address the issues of “anti-union posture of the company’s operations divisional manager” to avoid full blown industrial action.

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PENGASSAN had in a previous letter addressed to the management of Agip Oil, dated January 23, 2021, accused the company of “subtle threat against our members” and “demobilisation of members access to the company facilities.”

The letter had also urged the company to withdraw what the union described as “toxic memo’ and open discussion with the union branch leaders who are representatives of PENGASSAN, with a view to resolving the issues and restoring industrial harmony.

“However, as a law-abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.

Consequently, we are calling on all stakeholders and the security agencies in the country to prevail on Agip management to as a matter of national security and economic development of the country, refrain from acts capable of truncating the long existing peace in the industry. We, therefore, warn that we will not continue to guarantee such industrial peace should the situation persist.

The union warned if allowed to proceed with the escalated industrial action, Nigeria stands to lose the company’s production of about 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which will further impact negative on the recessed Nigerian economy.