NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (NUPENG) PROFILE
The organized Trade Union Movement in Nigeria dates back to 1912 when the workers in the Civil Service under the then Colonial administration organized themselves into a trade union. It became known as the Nigeria Civil Service Union. This became a pivot on which workers in other sectors began the agitation for the formation of Trade Unions before and after independence in 1960.
By 1975 during the Military regime of General Murtala Mohammed, Trade Unions in the country have risen to over 800 Mushroom Unions.
In 1976 the Government established a Commission of inquiry into the activities of the various Unions and appointed an administrator to administer the unions and come up with a structure for the proper administration of the Unions on industrial union lines.
This became necessary as the Unions were polarized into ideological blocs which created problems in labour management relations.
Towards the end of 1977, these Unions were restructured into 42 industrial unions along industrial lines. The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) was one of the new industrial unions.
The government also insisted on the formation of a Labour Centre as there were various multiple centers affiliated to International Trade Centers with different ideological philosophies.
In February 1978, the Nigeria Labour Congress was formed and inaugurated at the University of Ibadan. The 42 Industrial Unions became affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress with a legal backing of Trade Union (Amendment) Decree No. 22 of 1978 and Labour (Amendment) Decree No. 21 of 1978 respectively. In 1989, the Trade Unions were again restructured to become 29 affiliate industrial unions to the Nigeria Labour Congress.
However, the Obasanjo administration in 2004 passed a Labour Act at the National Assembly to pave way for multiple labour centers. Today, we have the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
CRUDE OIL EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION
Crude Oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in 1956. This was at Otuogidi Village in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State of Nigeria by Shell D’Arcy. In 1958, commercial production of crude oil began in Oloibiri.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is one of the 29 industrial unions that are formerly affiliated to the Nigeria Labour Congress. It was also one of the former 42 industrial unions during the restructuring exercise between 1976 – 1977.
During the restructuring, the following house Unions and Workers organizations among others merged to kick-start NUPENG in November, 1977.
Shell D’Arcy Workers Union.
BP Workers Union
Consolidated Petroleum Workers of Nigeria
Texaco African Workers Union
Esso Workers Union
Union of Shell Operations
Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union.
Shell D’Arcy Workers’ Union was proscribed before the inaugural conference.
On 2nd November 1977, its inaugural conference was held at Oba Akenzua Cultural Center Benin City, Edo State.
NUPENG was formally registered as a Trade Union on 15th August, 1978. The Secretariat was situated at No. 50A, Kano Street, Ebute Metta from there it was moved to No. 2, Jeminatu Buraimoh Close, in March, 1980. In March 2000, it was finally moved to NUPENG HOUSE at 9, Jibowu Street, Yaba, Lagos.
Tel: 234-01 – 8770277
The Union is divided into four zones for easy administration and operations namely Lagos Zone, Warri Zone, Port Harcourt Zone and Kaduna Zone with Zonal offices. There are sub-zonal offices at Eket, in Akwa Ibom State, Ibadan in Oyo State and a Liaison office at Abuja.
National Secretariat 9, Jibowu Street, Yaba, Lagos
Lagos Zone 25, Isaac John Street, Igbobi, Fadeyi, Lagos
Warri Zone 4, Justice Obi Close, DDPA (Bendel Estate, Off Airport Rd., Warri, Delta State
Port Harcourt Zone 35, Okoroji Street, D’ Line Port Harcourt, River State
Kaduna Zone RB 18, Nnamdi Azikiwe Road, Beside EcoBank, Ungwar Muazu Bye Pass, Kaduna
Eket Sub-Zonal office 59, Hospital Road, Eket, Akwa Ibom State
Ibadan Sub-Zonal office 61, Ring Road, Opposite Dikat House, Ibadan
Abuja NUPENG Liaison office 6, Umaru Dikko Crescent, OGS office, Jabi
To organize, protect, promote and defend the socio-economic and political interest of the oil and gas workers in Nigeria.
Its objectives as contained in the Union’s Constitution are as follows:
To ensure the complete unionization of all workers employed in the petroleum and gas industry.
To regulate the relations and settle disputes between members and employers and between a member and another.
To obtain and maintain a just and equitable general conditions of service.
To advance the education and training of members.
To provide benefits and other assistance as provided in the Constitution.
To encourage the participation of members in decision making in the undertaking both at industrial and National levels.
To protect and advance the socio-economic and cultural interest of the community and such other objectives as are lawful and are not inconsistent with the spirit and practice of trade unionism.
To promote and encourage International Fraternal relations with bodies having the interest of petroleum and Gas Workers.
To establish and carry on or participate (financial and otherwise) in the business of the printing or publishing of a general Newspaper or of any other undertaking, industrial or otherwise, in the interest of or with the main purpose of furthering the interest of the Union or trade unionism generally.
Its membership is open to all junior workers in the oil well and natural gas well operations in the industry including prospecting, drilling, crude oil and natural extraction of oil and natural gas, pipelines, refining, distribution and marketing of natural gas and petroleum products including petroleum tanker drivers (Haulage) regardless of sex, religion, belief or ethnic origin.
QUADRENNIAL DELEGATES CONFERENCE (QDC)
This is the highest organ of the union. It comprises members of the National Executive Council (NEC), principal national officers and delegates from all the branches. The Conference is held once in Four (4) years.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC)
Next in the hierarchy is the National Executive Council (NEC). It is made u-p of elected officers from the NDC, appointed Principal Officers, Zonal Chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers. It meets twice in a year or as emergency demands.
CENTRAL WORKING COMMITTEE (CWC)
Is the third organ in the hierarchy of the Union. It comprises elected officers at the NDC, appointed principal officers and Zonal Chairmen. It meets once in two months or as emergency demands.
NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION COUNCIL (NAC)
This comprises the President, Deputy President, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, National Treasurer, Trustee and Auditor. It meets once in every month.
There is a Four (4) Zonal Council Structure namely: Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna comprising Chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers of the Branches. Its congress is held once in every Four (4) years. The Council meets once in Three (3) months.
BRANCH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Branch Executive Committee comprises the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, PRO and a minimum of 5 elected members from the Units. They are elected by the members at their Branches Conference, once in every Four (4) years.
These are: President, Deputy President, Four Vice Presidents, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretaries, the National Treasurer, National Auditor, National Trustees, Administrative Heads of Zones, Head of Finance and Accounts, Four Zonal Chairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers.
SOME LIST OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM INAUGURATION TO 1982
1. J. E. DUBRE President Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Lagos
2. J.I. AKINLAJA Vice President B.P. Nig. Limited (Now A.P.) Lagos
3. P. E. ASUQUO Treasurer Dowel Schlumberger, Port Harcourt
4. S.E.M. OKUTORO Auditor Gulf Oil Co. (Now Chevron)
5. E.T. OKENE Trustee Mcdermott Nig. Ltd., Warri
6. J. A. OLOYE Trustee Unipetrol Nig. Ltd. (Now Oando Plc) Lagos
7. A. AIGBOKAN Trustee Zapata Marine Service, Warri
LIST OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF FROM INAUGURATION TO 1982
Asiyan Effiom Otu – General Secretary
Frank Ovie Kokori – Deputy General Secretary
Chief Taigho Oloko – Assistant General Secretary, Warri Zone
Chief G. O. Amadi – Assistant General Secretary, Port Harcourt
Elijah Okougbo – Joined NUPENG 1979 as Organising Secretary, promoted Assistant General Secretary, 1982
Agbolade Odukoya – Organising Secretary, Ibadan Sub-zonal office
P.S.T. Agbaniko – Organising Secretary, Warri Zone
I. O. Aberare – Organising Secretary, Warri Zone, 1982.
In between 1983 and 1986, the composition of the National Executive Council was unstable due to the intra-union crisis that erupted and was blown open in 1984, when in February of that year a Lagos High Court granted an interlocutory injunction against the President of the Union John Enas Dubre on the eve of the Nigeria Labour Congress Delegates Conference at Enugu.
In December 1991, the Union issued an ultimatum to the Federal Government and created Public awareness through a symbolic strike action embarked up-on by the union. This led to a tripartite meeting of the Federal Government represented by the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Employers representatives in the Oil and Gas Industry and NUPENG officers. A communiqué was signed on 28th January 1992 on how to resolve the problem.
One of the major gains of the communiqué was the power given to the Union to unionise contract workers in the Oil and Gas Industry. This became the tool for the Union in the organizational drive of Contract Workers in the various companies. It also empowered the Union to negotiate terms and conditions of service for contract workers.
In April, 2001 the National Executive Council issued an ultimatum for a two day symbolic strike action with effect from 28th June, 2001 to protest against the evils of casualisation and other related workers issues. However, before the strike could commence, the Federal Government intervened through the NNPC. One of the agreements reached was to host a casualisation seminar which took place in November 2001. The Seminar came up with a four point resolution which includes unionization of Contract Workers, Conversion to regular employment, equitable remuneration for all staff on similar jobs whether regular or contract work. In spite of the various efforts to decasualize and the Union’s struggles against casualisation on the Employers still devise means to break the various communiqués and resolutions reached at different fora.
POLITICAL STRUGGLE 1993 – 1994
It is a well-known fact that a Trade Union serves as the revolutionary vanguard of the people. This came to play when NUPENG went head long to protest against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections in Nigeria. The role of NUPENG was enormous due to its strategic position. The aim of the strike was to ask the military to go back to professional soldiering and to restore democracy to Nigeria after many years of military dictatorship. A militant union with revolutionary posture, NUPENG with its sister organization PENGASSAN went on a nine-week strike against military rule.
A National Strike was called in August 1993, which led to the stepping aside of the then Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and his cabinet with the inauguration of an interim government which brought in Chief Ernest Shonekan formerly U.A.C. Chairman. At the National Executive Council meeting held on 18thJune, 1994, the Union issued an ultimatum asking the Federal Government to release the Winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election and to swear him in as the democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Union’s strike commenced on July 4, 1994 and ended on September 1994. The strike was classified “the June 12 Struggle”, it was a celebrated struggle that memories are made of and it signaled the end of military rule in Nigeria.
This led to the arrest and detention of the then President of NUPENG, Comrade W. K. Agamene who was a staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori. The then Head of State was later overthrown by General Sani Abacha who dissolved the National Executive Council and appointed a Sole Administrator., Dr. Ahmed Jalingo to administer the Union, and at the same time appointed a Secretary Reverend Okon of the Ministry of Labour to assist him. Dr. Ahmed Jalingo was later replaced by Alhaji Ali Chiroma, who was former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Alhaji Ali Chiroma was assisted by Engineer Okafor from the Ministry of Labour as Secretary, At the death of the maximum ruler, General Sani Abacha, the strong arm of Government was relaxed.
The President of the Union, Wariebi Kojo Agamene was earlier released at the instance of SPDC while Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori who was detained at Bama Prison was immediately released by General Abdulsalami Abubakar after four years incarceration without trial at Bama Prisons.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar immediately sacked the Administrator and his Secretary and democratized the Union. The democratic process of the Union commenced with Branch elections, Zonal Council election and the National Delegates Conference that was held from 28th to 29th September, 1988.
FORMATION OF WOMEN COMMITTEE
The Union crisis between 1983 – 1987 put paid to some activities such as plan for the integration of women cadres into the mainstream of the Union.
The Oil and gas Industry is highly automated and dominated by male workers. There were some female activists in the Union who wore the mantle of leadership in their various Branches such as: Mrs. Selina Nwokolo of NISSCO, Veronica C. Ogu of Baroid of Nigeria, Mrs. Onwordi NNPC, Mrs. Lola Odu of Unipetrol now Oando Plc and a host of others. The NUPENG Women Wing before the June 12 Struggle became defunct. It was therefore, after the crisis that the second WOMEN WING now WOMEN COMMITTEE was re-inaugurated on 21st August, 2003 at Felona Hotel in Benin City since then, the Women Committee have been playing significant roles in the affairs of the union.
The current executive of the National Women Committee was inaugurated on 22nd June, 2013.
THE CURRENT NATIONAL WOMEN COMMITTEE EXECUTIVES
" Comrade Thelma Ndukwe Chairperson, Port Harcourt
“ Mayungbe Yetunde Vice Chairperson, Lagos
“ Bolaji Salami Secretary, Kaduna
“ Charity Ajujungwa Assistant Secretary, Enugu
“ Grace Femi Treasurer, Warri
“ Mosunmola Pelemo Financial Secretary, Lagos
“ Funmi Bakare Trustee, Lagos
“ Ekeke Bibiana Auditor, Kaduna
“ Bethel Ovhorokpa PRO, Warri
“ Rose Kwasu Welfare, Kaduna
“ Grace Akpan Chief Whip, Benin
“ Charity Boms Adviser, Port Harcourt
“ Mary Okafor Ex-officio, Abuja
“ Toubora Orji Ex-officio, Lagos
“ Precious Imoudu – Ex-officio, Warri
“ Ngozi Dona Obi Gender Desk officer, Lagos
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
The Union has been involved in the training and education of its cadres. This is to impact Trade union consciousness as well as managerial skills on them. Also prominent in our training programmes is HIV/AIDS pandemics including Health and Safety in the workplace. Foremost is experts’ training in conflict resolution.
In August 1988, the Union had its first major National Industrial Relations seminar organized in conjunction with the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Nigeria. This was held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Topo, Badagry. Since then, various training have taken place at one time or the other. We have also incorporated Zonal Workshops in the development of Workers human capital.
Between 1998 to date Branches and National officers have received various trainings locally and internationally in South Africa, United States, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Ghana, etc. These were sponsored by the union, Management in the Oil and Gas Industry and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Education and Training are in the forefront of the Union’s Calendar each year as we continue to solicit for sponsorship both locally and internationally to train our national officers since education serves as a pivot for national development and social mobility. Apart from that, education makes people easy to lead but difficult to manipulate.
The Union is an affiliate of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mines and General Workers’ Union (ICEM). Now Industrial Global Union with Headquarters at Brussels in Belgium but now relocated to Geneva, Switzerland. The Union once Chairmaned the ICEM Nigeria Chapter and the board of African Region.
LIST OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS
Williams Akporeha President
Joseph Ogbebor General Secretary
Eddy John Ossai Deputy President I
Asuquo Okon Deputy President II
Adamu Song (Admin.)
Monday Osunde Trustee
Bala Usman M Auditor
Bassey Harry I. R. O.
Peter Akiakeme P.R.O.
Prince Moses Chief Whip
Paulinus Onyeodi Financial Secretary
Stella Amako Welfare Officer
Alh. Tijani Zubairu Vice President, Kaduna Zone
Timothy Ogbu Vice President, Port Harcourt Zone
Bello Aneru Vice President, Warri Zone
Aliu Balogun Vice President, Lagos Zone
Richard Otovwievwiere Adviser (Formal)Nat. Security Coordinator
Idahoise Osunbor Ag. Head – Kaduna Zone
A.N. Chukwu SAGS (F. & A.)
Afolabi O.O. SAGS (E. & T.)
Adamson Momoh SAGS (R. & Pub. Affairs)
C.U. Akpede SAGS – Lagos Zone
Onohwohwo P.O. SAGS – Warri Zonal Office
Lawrence Alabala SOS/Admin. Head, P/H
Idris Gana Zonal Chairman – Kaduna Zone
Ahmed Tijanni Sani Zonal Secretary – Kaduna Zone
Gambo Ibrahim Tuge “ Treasurer
Usman Runka “ Trustee
T.N.A. Korodo “ Chairman – Lagos
Phillip Idogbe “ Secretary – Lagos
Oyeleke Adejoke Zonal Treasurer – Lagos
Godwin Eruba Zonal Chairman – Port Harcourt
Salvation Akpaghoro “ Secretary
Samuel Luke “ Trustee
Ikohesa O. Ikohesa Treasurer
Ojobor Cogent Zonal Chairman – Warri
Augustine Emami Zonal Secretary – Warri
Justin Adigwe Trustee – Warri
Thelma O. Ndukwe NUPENG Women Committee Chairperson,P.H.
Bolaji Saleem NUPENG Women Committee Secretary,Kaduna
Grace Femi NUPENG Women Committee, Treasurer, Warri
Peter Akpatason Former President
As you browse through NUPENG history, you are welcome to a dynamic Union that is full of vibrancy and revolutionary tendencies. We shall feed you with more information as may be necessary from time to time. We will surely overcome.
NUPENG HOUSE 9, Jibowu Street, off Ikorodu Road, Yaba, Lagos
+234 1 8770277
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