A reconciliatory meeting called by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum, Upstream and Downstream, and Gas Resources over the oil workers’ strike suffered a huge setback as all the invited stakeholders, as well as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, boycotted the meeting despite summons by the committee.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, NUPENG, ignored the summon, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in a written reply to the House Committee saying that the crisis between the management of NNPC and the oil workers is an internal affair.
The workers were, among other issues, requesting the management to broker an agreement with them on how it intends to fund the in-house pension fund operated by the corporation.
Oil workers had threatened industrial action if the management of NNPC failed to address all the unresolved pension issues.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Thalma Dawah, in the letter told the committee that the corporation is doing everything necessary to resolve the crisis, adding that soon enough the aggrieved members will go back to work.
Meanwhile, members of the committees have expressed dissatisfaction over the boycott, which they noted is common with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Muraina Ajibola, who led the meeting, however, issued fresh summons directing all the parties appear before the committee on Tuesday, September 23.