Valiant Energy, NUPENG resolve row as sacked workers get full benefits
The lingering impasse between indigenous offshore drilling company, Valiant Energy Services West Africa Limited, and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has finally been settled.
The row was sparked by the laying off of 39 oil workers last year by Valiant Energy following the global downturn in
the oil industry as countries implemented a series of lockdowns to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic.
After a series of deliberations with NUPENG, an agreement was reached on October 16, 2020 between Valiant Energy and NUPENG over the terminal benefits payable to the workers.
To this end, Valiant Energy met all obligations of the agreement and paid in full all outstanding severance benefits due to the NUPENG members.
In spite of this, NUPENG at the time still expressed dissatisfaction with Valiant Energy on matters outside the provisions of the agreement, which had been fully met by Valiant Energy.
So, rather than achieve resolution of all matters with the payment of all outstanding monies, the impasse between both parties lingered.
With the continued impasse, a virtual reconciliation meeting brokered by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) was held on January 19, 2021.
At the meeting, all the grievances were heard by all parties and were amicably resolved. NUPENG further acknowledged receipt, in full, of all outstanding severance benefits from Valiant Energy due to its members, the disengaged workers.
The management of Valiant Energy and NUPENG both agreed that the whole matter was regrettable but there was a collective resolve to work together in peace and harmony.
Williams Akporeha, representing NUPENG, agreed that social dialogue remains the best path to dispute resolution and looked forward to a smooth working relationship between the labour advocacy
group and Valiant in the future.
On its own part, Valiant Energy restated a continued, unflinching commitment to the welfare of its workforce, “a practice that is deeply enshrined in the corporate culture of the firm”, according to the commercial manager of Valiant Energy, Yele Fafowora.
“Valiant Energy has the reputation of a responsible corporate entity that has held the welfare of its staff in high regard, always performing its statutory staff obligations in a timely manner,” Fafowora said, noting that the relationship had always been cordial until the recent challenge.
“These disengaged members of staff are some of the best hands across the industry but the incident happened in response to the pandemic. We can’t fault anybody for that.”
Valiant Energy is a 100 percent
Nigerian-owned multi-oil services platform established in 2013. In the last
three years, the company has successfully drilled 16 offshore wells for some of
the largest IOCs with a 100
percent Nigerian crew.