Two major unions in the oil and gas sector on Friday rejected plans to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into 30 companies.
The unions are the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe kachikwu, had on Wednesday said that NNPC would be unbundled into 30 competitive revenue-generating subsidiaries in the coming week.
According to Mr. Kachikwu, the plan which would be concluded within the next seven days, would reposition the corporation to accrue profits and stability in the sector.
The PENGASSAN’s spokesman, Emmanuel Ojugbana, while reacting to the development, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the union was not in support of the split.
According to him, if such a decision or plan should be taken, the two unions in the sector were supposed to be carried along.
Mr. Ojugbana said that the Act establishing the NNPC must be repealed before the company could be unbundled.
He said the union was not carried along in the decision to unbundle the company into 30 sub-sectors, adding that PENGASSAN was holding a meeting to take action on the issue.
Similarly, NUPENG’s president, Igwe Achese, said the government needed a law to repeal the existing Act which established the NNPC to institute the changes.
Mr. Achese said the union would not accept the decision without knowing how the manpower that would operate in the 30 companies would be managed.
“We will resist the move to unbundle the company because we see it as an attempt to cause industrial crisis.
“Our fear is that the NNPC can start disengaging workers as a result of this plan,’’ the union leader said.
He, therefore, called for a stakeholders’ meeting that would involve NUPENG and PENGASSAN.