Oil workers protest NNPC unbundling
ABUJA, March 9, 2016 – Offices and facilities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were shut down across the country by local oil workers angered by the decision to unbundle the state entity into independent units.
Announced last week and enacted on Tuesday, the federal government’s decision to split NNPC into some 30 independent companies across five operational zones, including upstream, downstream, midstream and refining, was met with protests as oil workers fear job losses as a result of the unbundling.
The protests follow the decision on Friday by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers unions not to lend support to the split. The unions said they had not been consulted about the decision, nor given details about how the new entities would be managed.
In a reaction, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and NNPC group managing director Ibe Kachikwu said the unbundling would not have to result in job losses. “I do not have the mandate of the president to create a job loss situation, but to try to ensure that everyone gets busy, unless for reasons of bad staff performance and fraud. There is no mass attempt to let people go,” he said.
According to various Nigerian news outlets, the protests have sparked fresh fears over fuel scarcity.
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