*Oil production, fuel supply, others threatened as unions kick
No fewer than 500 employees are about to be dropped from the payroll of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for reportedly failing to scale through a mandatory personnel assessment and promotion examinations the corporation recently conducted, THISDAY has gathered. Very reliable sources within the state oil company said the issue was already causing disquiet in the corporation.
They said this could lead to disruption of NNPC operations following threats by workers’ unions to resist the alleged sack of the 500 workers.From reports, NNPC has since October 2017 remained the sole importer and supplier of refined petroleum products in Nigeria, especially petrol which independent petroleum marketers have stayed away from importing on account of unfavourable pricing. On the other hand, Nigeria’s oil production has continued to improve from a 2016 production disruption caused by militancy in the Niger Delta.
Sources close to the development told THISDAY that trouble started when the corporation conducted the promotional examinations and about 500 of its staff could not pass it. The 500 are reportedly not part of the workers’ unions – the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). They were subsequently issued notices of disengagement, but their issue has since been taken up by the two unions, which sources stated have now pledged to resist the sack even though it means shutting down the operations of the NNPC.
A source who pleaded not be named said, “Some staff wrote promotion exams to move places, as it is the case. They are Chief Officers and Deputy General Managers who are in M5 and M6 cadre. Some didn’t pass for the first time and about 500 were asked to leave, and papers in this regard were served them.
“Right now, there is a lot of tension because that category of people affected are not part of workers’ union.