By Ebi Perekeme
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to shut down oil and gas operations should the Federal Government fail to pay their salaries by Friday.
The senior oil workers, who gathered at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) Effurun in Delta, had begun a peaceful protest on Wednesday.
They displayed placards with inscriptions such as “PENGASSAN says no to IPPIS,” We say no to salary reduction using IPPIS” and “We are not against IPPIS but create another platform that addresses our peculiarities,” among others.
Newsmen had reported the protesters on August 13, threatened to shut down all oil operations but backed out following intervention by top government officials promising to address their grievances.
It was gathered the oil workers and Federal Government did not reach a compromise, which informed the renewed industrial action.
Addressing members, Branch Chairman of PENGASSAN, PTI Comrade Zarakiya Ahmad Muhammad, warned if their salaries are not released by Friday, the Federal Government should be ready to contend with total shut down of operations in the industry.
Muhammad, who was in company of Secretary of Regulators Forum, Prince Audi Oshiokhamele and chairman of PTI branch of NUPENG, Mr. Ejokirhie Jahpurpose, expressed shock the Federal Ministry of Finance failed to pay their August and September salaries while negotiations were ongoing.
The chairman stated aside seizure of their two- month salaries, the strike was also informed by the clumsy manner in which members were enrolled on the IPPIS.
According to him, though the union supported all government’s efforts to achieve transparency and accountability, it should not be to the detriment of oil workers.