IN PICTURES: NUPENG Pays Condolence Visit to PENGASSAN Leadership Over Demise of Comrade Olabode Johnson

The National President and General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Comrade Williams Akporeha and Comrade Comrade Olawale Afolabi led a high-powered delegation of the Union to pay a condolence visit to the leadership of National Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) at their Secretariat in Lagos over the death of the Union’s President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson on Tuesday June 11, 2019.

Comrade Akporeha described the deceased as a committed, patriotic and amiable leader even as he made a fresh call for more united and virile NUPENGASSAN spirit.

The late Olabode Johnson burial arrangements are already slated for July 18 and 19, 2019 in Abuja.

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EXECUTIVE ORDER 5: NUPENG COMMENDS PRESIDENT BUHARI FOR TAKING ANOTHER POSITIVE STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

PRESS STATEMENT:

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) profoundly applauds President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for signing Executive Order 5 with the intent to improve Local Content in public procurement as well as in application of Science, Technology and Innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.

We make bold to salute the courage and patriotism of Mr. President for prohibiting the Ministry of Interior in the Executive Order, from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria; and that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.

It is indeed worthwhile to see this laudable presidential directive recommending that consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria. With no shred of doubt, this is new dawn for Nigerian workers.

Whilst we give kudos to Mr. President for starting his second term on a good footing in tandem with his ‘Next Level’ mantra, he should however not hesitate to ensure all relevant agencies are compelled to implement to the letter the new Executive Order without any form of delay and hindrance so as to foster value creation and addition in the Nigerian human capital development and utilization for material resources and services.

We also use this veritable medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari that the application of the Local Content Law should be strongly geared towards the creation of decent permanent jobs for Nigerian workers.

The prevalence of casual/ indecent jobs in Nigeria, particularly in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry is appalling and highly disturbing in view of the high expectations and premium we collectively placed on Nigeria Content Development and Management Board right from the various struggles for its creation.

The current increasing youths disenchantment and frustrations evident by the rising tide of cultism, killings, kidnapping, suicide attempt, armed banditry, advance-fee scam, prostitution, and other social vices bedeviling our national life are derivatives of glaring failure of institutions and agencies that are responsible for the creation, protection and sustenance of decent jobs for Nigerian youths.

NUPENG as a key stakeholder in the Oil and Gas industry whose members have suffered varying infractions from the hands of different multinational companies as a result of infringement on the local content laws have good reasons to express profound gratitude to a government that obviously demonstrated firm sensitivity and responsiveness to the plight of its citizenry and ready to bring succour, particularly to our members who have experienced neglect from successive administrations under whose watch workers went through harrowing socio-economic and psychological torture with no respite.

The rank and file members of our Union will not hesitate to drag out and engage any individual, institutions or agencies that attempt to frustrate this patriotic and well intentioned executive order of  President Mohammadu Buhari.

May God bless and prosper Nigeria.

Our Solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong!!!

SIGNED:

COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA,
NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG.

  NUPENG BIDS F.O.J. FAREWELL: CONDOLES PENGASSAN

PRESS STATEMENT

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is deeply saddened over the shocking and untimely death of Comrade Olabode Johnson, who until his death was the National President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Chairman of NUPENGASAN.

Distressingly, Friday, May 31, 2019 has inflamed an indelible sore in the minds of Nigerian workers particularly the Oil and Gas industry.

NUPENG this day utterly regrets the huge vacuum created by the passing to eternal rest of this great and quintessential Unionist in the labour movement. NUPENGASSAN which he meritoriously chaired kept united, strong and virile has painfully lost a rare gem in its folk.

The world vividly recollects every moment, every struggle he championed and flashbacks of sacrifices made by Comrade Olabode Johnson to keep the trade Union in shape.

His endearing visions, aimed at holding his members even at the expense of his immediate family can also not be overemphasized.

His sincere commitments to see his members and staff successful, move above challenges stay productive and fulfilled in tandem with the Union’s policy thrust are memories that will remain unforgettable.

In retrospect, NUPENG could still reflect on your emergence as the Senior Oil and Gas Workers’ President right from your first term regime in June 2014 and subsequent reelection for a second term of three years during your association’s 5th Triennial Delegates Conference on June 29, 2017 at the NAF Conference Centre and Suites, Kado.

We love F. O. J but God loves him more!!!!!

On this note, NUPENG in this grieving moment extends our heartfelt condolences to the wife and children of our dear late leader, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where the deceased worked, Trade Union Congress, PENGASSAN, members of Staff, business associates, friends and well wishers; may God grant them all fortitude to bear this irreparable loss and may his precious soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

Adieu our dearest and indefatigable Comrade!

 

SIGNED:

COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA,

NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG.

 

COMRADE AFOLABI OLAWALE 

GENERAL SECRETARY NUPENG.

NUPENG SALUTES PRESIDENT BUHARI ON SECOND TERM, CALLS FOR HOLISTIC SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH

PRESS STATEMENT

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) profoundly and unequivocally congratulates the government of Nigeria and the citizenry for a peaceful and successful inauguration for the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) which took place on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

While still in the euphoria of this auspicious and epochal political event, NUPENG uses this veritable medium to appreciate the Nigerian people for sustaining democracy by re-electing the government that means well for them and also reminds political stakeholders in this fresh mandate of the people which is sacred and not negotiable that the Nigerian people who voted them expect the mandate to be judiciously executed so as to deliver the next level promised Nigerians.

We further urge the government to look into the collapsed state of country’s security architecture especially the scourge of kidnapping, armed banditry, communal clashes, insurgency, advance-fee scam, cyber fraud, Boko Haram, armed robbery, ritual killings, herder-farmer conflicts, cattle rustling, youth restiveness, among others.

Sadly, the high prevalence of insecurity in Nigeria has given rise to drastic cut in supply chain of both cash and food crops from the rural communities, worst still, leading to rural-urban migration, a situation that has snowballed into population explosion and avoidable overstretched-infrastructure in the urban centres as people are looking for safety and protection of their lives; regrettably this is fresh threat that could attract famine to the land.

Besides, this menace has drastically reduced investment profile of Nigeria because both local and foreign investors are scared of the hostile and insecure enabling environment which serve as big risk to them and their financial institutions over fear of potential monetary loss, as a result of this, many employable Nigerians are faced with difficult times of acute unemployment and the few that are engaged are not spared as victims of job loss.

NUPENG therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, having attained this fresh milestone and mandate to speedily nip the security challenges of the country in the bud; with such proactive intervention we believe it will serve as springboard to open windows of opportunities for socio-economic growth and advancement.

In the overall interest of Nigerians we as well appeal to the government to rejig its economic team, and also those saddled with national security and create space for more technocrats. It will also be a plus for the government to do away with people who have outlived their usefulness and others who have lost touch with the grassroots, the task ahead is enormous therefore only highly skilled and qualified hands are expected to be reconsidered in this fresh administration.

Once again NUPENG rejoices with Mr. President for being inaugurated for a second term, we have no doubt absolutely that he will consolidate on his previous accomplishments and leave Nigeria a better place than he met it.

We however call on all Nigerians across the six geo-political zones to unite and support President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the country in the next four years to the greatness that we all desire and deserve.

May God continue to bless, protect and prosper Nigeria.

Our Solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong!!!

SIGNED:

COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA,

NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG.

PICTURES: NUPENG President and Gen. Sec. At Hague In Defence Of Workers Rights

The National President of NUPENG and the General Secretary, Comrade Williams Akporeha and Comrade Afolabi Olawale making case for contract workers at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of Royal Dutch Shell which held at the Circustheater, Circusstraat 4, 2586 CW, The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday May 21, 2019.

The astute Union leaders used the occasion to draw stakeholders and investors’ attention to dozens of infractions meted on members of the Union in Nigeria, an aberration which could potentially cost the oil giant (Shell) its reputation.

Comrade Afolabi was also seen addressing Shell teeming shareholders as well as the CEO, Ben van Beurden about the activities of the company as it affects the Union in terms of membership, financial capacity and ability to adequately organize and represent Nigerian oil and gas workers which has been adversely affected by repressive anti-labour and Union activities of the multinational oil company (Shell).

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Comrade Afolabi engaging Shell shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting

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NUPENG General Secretary, Comrade Olawale Afolabi and the Union National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha with Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden

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CHRIS NGIGE VENDETTA MISSION TO PROSCRIBE NUPENG, A JOKE TAKEN TOO FAR

PRESS STATEMENT

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) vehemently condemns the perceived threat by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige to proscribe our Union despite our strict adherence to statutory mode of operations, laws of the land as well as international conventions since our formal registration as a Trade Union in 15th August, 1978.

We are not surprised though, that this recent treacherous move by the Minister was an escalation of his violent reactions and attacks on organized labour’s (not just NUPENG) peaceful rallies and picketing to all places of interest to the Minister, over his failure to inaugurate the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with Comrade (Chief) Ovie Frank Kokori as the Chairman and use of armed thugs to attack Labour leaders.

It is shameful that the Minister of Labour had to condescend so low by issuing a directive to NUPENG to produce its only outstanding Financial Returns for 2018 within 72 hours when the extant law stipulates 30 days, and even when such returns are supposed to be due by June 31st, 2019.

We have it from good authority that he has further carried all our files right from the inception of our Union (1978) to date in a bid to fish out phantom reasons he intends to use in proscribing the Union.

Our fears were however confirmed further when we realized that it was only NUPENG that was instructed to submit its financial returns.

We wish to let the whole world know that Dr Chris Ngige is nothing but a big bag of lies and we further put on record that Dr Ngige called to congratulate Chief Kokori personally, when the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo announced him in 2017 as the Chairman of the Board of NSITF.

The Minister also invited Kokori to dinners four different times to variously discuss about the inauguration and other things concerning the Board particularly how it has been enmeshed with corruption by successive administrations.

Besides, the leadership of NUPENG visited the Minister in his office in November 2018 and he informed us that he is still tidying up the agency and that our man (Kokori) will be inaugurated in due course. He even added that Kokori was appointed based on merit as a renowned labour activist and pro-democracy advocate and someone who will not be compromised.

Only to later hear in the media that after 2 years of announcing Kokori as the Chairman of the board, his name was substituted with no tenable or justifiable reason(s) and the Minister could not even deem it fit to convene a meeting to brief Comrade Kokori and other relevant stakeholders of the new development thereby allowing it to snowball into crises.

Despite this appalling affront on our veteran and the entire labour movement in general and the use of hired thugs by the Minister to attack Labour Leaders and the members, Organized Labour (including NUPENG) for the love they have for Nigeria, only resulted to peaceful protests and strongly resisted provocation of going on strike, knowing the collateral damage this will have on the country and the attendant effect on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry,

We decided to lick our wounds and withdraw to our shells especially after the declaration by the Presidency on the changes made. Nevertheless, NUPENG found this absolutely reprehensible and awful to say the least.

Worst still, Ngige in his petty and infantile nature has proceeded on self-destructive mission to proscribe NUPENG because the Union dare to speak against what it believes was wrong and injurious to our interest. Ngige’s latest machination is purely a personal vendetta, ruthless in execution, sadistic in expectations and not 21st century Industrial Relations practice compliant.

It is important to state here that NUPENG or its leadership never had any personal issues with the minister thereby taking a matter which is wholly official to this level, is to us the height of office abuse.

NUPENG is however unperturbed by the antics of the Minister, but remains resolute in guiding our policy thrust in tandem with the rules of engagement

Meanwhile we are by this press statement putting all our members in every Oil and Gas installations, including Petroleum Tanker Drivers and all other members in the value chain of the industry on HIGH RED ALERT while we watch out for any further infantile and ignoble antics from Ngige.

We however use this medium to call on our amiable President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Comrade Muhammadu Buhari and all other well-meaning Nigerians to please call the erring minister to order before he plunges this country to a monumental industrial crisis.

No one should test the patience or perseverance of the Oil and Gas Workers as our solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong!

SIGNED:

COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA,

NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG.

NUPENG CAUTIONS AGAINST MILITARY COUP, REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC RULE

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG is deeply concerned and worried over the alleged nefarious activities of some devilish and depraved individuals circulating documents calling for coup against the democratically elected government of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The activities of these depraved desperados are utterly condemned by our Union and we urge all Nigerians irrespective of political/religious or tribal affiliations, to rise up in one accord to berate these faceless individuals and assist the security agencies to smoke them out wherever they are may be hiding.

The present democratic system whatever might be its shortcomings was collectively fought for through blood and sweat of patriotic Nigerians and as a Union, we express our faith and confidence that Nigeria democracy has come to stay and could no longer be threatened or usurped by military coup d’etat under any guise, having successfully survived 20 unbroken years of civilian rule.

As a socially responsible trade Union, we found it most appropriate at a time like this to add our voice in condemning the heinous antics of all anti-democratic elements within and outside Nigeria, military officers or any other overambitious stakeholders who may be fanning the amber of change in government by way of military interregnum to immediately put a stop to such unpopular, venomous and toxic machination.

The removal of a democratic government through the barrel of gun is no longer acceptable or justifiable anywhere in world and Nigerian cannot be an exception in this regard. Moreover, brutality can never solve any problem but only complicates them and sets back the progress of democratic societies. The gory sights and stories from theatres of war across the globe are too frightening to imagine happening in our country. Constitutional democracy offers peaceful options of changing governments through the ballot box.

It’s very instructive to note here that we just concluded a successful general elections and anyone that is dissatisfied with the outcomes can either go through constitutional processes to seek redress or wait for another round of elections rather than resorting to any illegal and despicable violent route.

NUPENG in strongest term berates any call for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.  Just like we did during the June 12, 1993 era, we would also not hesitate this time again to mobilize our members and resources across the nation in ensuring that our democracy is protected and not truncated by some desperate individuals that do not wish Nigeria well.

As an Oil and Gas Union that is consistently known to be non partisan and highly patriotic, we deeply acknowledge Nigeria’s ability to conduct credible and acceptable election which essentially is one of the bedrock of good democracy. Once a nation could hold free and fair, credible, and transparent election, it is for us to throw our weight behind such democratic process without looking back.

NUPENG unequivocally salutes the Defence Headquarters for immediately dissociating the military from the purported document in circulation, calling for the overthrow of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

We urge Nigeria military, Department of State Services, Police and other Security and Intelligence Services to intensify their efforts in unmasking the sponsors of the said document in circulation under the guise of Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP).

This is the height of an attempted treason against the Nigerian State and our relevant laws and security architecture must be activated to nip this dangerous phenomenon in the bud.

Our Solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong.

SIGNED:

COMRADE WILLIAMS AKPOREHA,

NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG.

NSITF: NUPENG Joins Organized Labour In National Protest Against Dr Ngige

By Emmanuel Ajibulu

Despite scorching and visible unfriendly weather condition on Monday (May 13, 2019) in the city of Abuja, the National President and the General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Comrade Williams Eniredonana Akporeha and Comrade Afolabi Olawale respectively joined other high profile labour leaders and civil rights activists that took part in a nationwide solidarity protest.

The well attended protest under the coverage of both local and international media was unavoidably arranged by organized Labour over leadership tussle at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board. The Union and the labour ministry have backed different people for the Chairmanship of the board of NSITF.

Labour was of the opinion that the former General Secretary of NUPENG, Comrade (Chief) Frank Ovie Kokori would do justice to the board if inaugurated as the board Chairman, this view point had sharp contrast to that of Labour Ministry.

It would be recalled that on Sunday (May 12, 2019), the Presidency said the decisions of the minister of labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on the matter had the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari. It said the board will be inaugurated as planned.

It also redeployed the labour campaigner, Chief Frank Kokori, to the Labour Institute in Kwara State. Chief Kokori was earlier appointed by the president to head the Board at NSITF, but the Minister opposed his nomination while various labour organs threw their weights behind Kokori.

Sadly on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, journalists and labour members were attacked by thugs suspected to have been sent by Dr Ngige, during a protest at the minister’s residence in Asokoro, Abuja.

This ugly development necessitated the nationwide protest that began at about 9 am on Monday; it kicked off from the Labour House after a brief address by the NLC National President Comrade Ayuba Wabba. It had members of affiliated unions in attendance.

The union was protesting minister’s unwillingness to inaugurate the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board with NUPENG’s veteran, Chief Kokori as the chairman.

Speaking at the protest, the national president of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the unions under common goal are protesting the attack on Nigerian workers during a protest to minister’s house.

“Members of International Labour Congress in Geneva will be protesting against Ngige on June 18,” he said.

According to him, Nigerian workers have the rights to protest and picket.

Meanwhile, whilst the protest was going on, the minister, Dr Chris Ngige simultaneously inaugurated the new National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board at the State House banquet hall in the presidential villa after a two-year delay in total defiance to labour agitations.

The Minister said the two-year delay in the inauguration was as a result of massive looting in the organisation between 2012 and 2015.

He added that between that period in view, the sum of N62.5 billion was contributed out of which N48 billion was unaccounted for and N25 billion was withdrawn without vouchers.

The new board is to be chaired by Austin Enejomo-Isire.

The past board members are currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ngige, however, charged the new board to resist the temptation of fixing special allowances for themselves urging them to execute their duties fairly and transparently.

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TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG, COMRADE (PRINCE) WILLIAMS AKPOREHA, FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019

FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF NUPENG, COMRADE (PRINCE) WILLIAMS AKPOREHA TO STATE THE POSITION OF NUPENG ON THE FACEOFF BETWEEN LABOUR MINISTER AND COMRADE OVIE FRANK KOKORI OVER NSITF BOARD CHAIRMANSHIP,
IN JIBOWU ON FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019.

Good afternoon gentlemen and ladies of the Press, we sincerely appreciate you most profoundly for responding swiftly to our impromptu invitation to this press conference inspite of your tight schedule in your respective beats.

My brothers and sisters from the media, we called you here today to draw the attention of the whole world to the lies and despicable antics Minister of Labour and Employment in desperate attempt to appropriate to himself perpetually the National Social Insurance Trust Fund.

Having listened to his explanation and defense on the recent peaceful protest of the workers (But turned bloody at the instance of Mr. Chris Ngige), against his attempt to secretly inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in his sitting room after organized labour had frustrated previous attempts, we thought it wise to not only unmasked Mr. Chris Ngige for what he is and has ever been but to also once again place the records of Chief Frank Ovie Kokori on the world screen to see and compare with the unknown and murky records of his traducer.

Chief Chris Ngige from all indications has not represented the President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government and the APC well in this whole saga. It is really disheartening and worrying that a Federal Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would openly lie to the whole world in full glare of cameras and microphones that Nigerian workers brought fully loaded petroleum trucks to his house. This allegation was unfounded and belittling of an honourale federal Minister, former Governor and former distinguished Senator, if he is ever honourable and distinguished.

We are seriously surprised that a Minister will give an ‘alternative fact’ to the already known truth that is in public domain; he claimed that Tankers with loads of petroleum products barricaded his Asokoro residence; this is a show of shame to his status as a high-profile public servant so to say.

We want the Nigerian public to help us ask Mr. Minister why he would want to inaugurate a Board in his private residence or at a hotel? This is an admittance to the fact that is has lost touch with decency and decorum, shamefully so.

It is on record that defenseless workers were shot at, while some of them who sustained serious injuries were taken to the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment.

It is a global practice that workers strive for their rights and interests through picketing, which is a form of protest in which they congregate to draw public attention to a cause that directly affects them and their members or any government policies or actions that are found injurious to their interest or welfare.

I make bold to say that the Abuja protesters were non-violent, but only sought after the primary aim of putting pressure on the Minister within their rules of engagement to inaugurate Chief Kokori as the NSITF Chairman.

Gentlemen and ladies of the press, there are visual and audio-visual evidences to substantiate my claim on this subject matter and I am sure as Labour Correspondents you all are abreast of this ugly development which is in public space.

It is really appalling at this state of our national life to see topmost echelon of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha (my good self) and others, being openly assaulted by thugs and hooligans is to say the least most irresponsible and a mockery of our democracy especially the aspect of our law which accommodates freedom to assemble freely and associate with other persons, as well as freedom of association and expression. This is worst and most disrespectful.

From all indications, Dr. Chris Ngige is no match with Chief Kokori by any standard.

Without fear of contraction, showing solidarity to Chief Kokori this time around cannot be said to be out of place under any guise. He is such a man with intimidating and enviable credentials, known for engendering justice, never compromising oil workers’ rights and of stainless integrity, purpose and vision throughout his reign as the General Secretary of NUPENG for 17 meritorious years of indelible records and the entire labour movement benefitted immensely from his efforts.

Without the painstaking sacrifices of the Labour movement led by Chief Kokori and others, there would have been no democracy under which an Ngige became a State Governor, a Senator of the Federal Republic and the Minister of Labour and Employment where he is currently playing god.

Chief Frank Kokori should be remembered and celebrated at a time like this because of his role in the struggle for democracy which made the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Amnesty International (AI) and labour federations across the globe declare him prisoner of conscience between August 1994 and June 1998. Kokori was in solitary confinement for four consecutive years in the infamous Bama Prison. He was just dumped there with no charges preferred against him by the evil regime of the Military. Kokori has a lot to offer Nigeria and he should be given all the support to serve this country.

Gentlemen and ladies of the press, today NUPENG is putting the record straight by saying in the interest of industrial peace and harmony the Minister of Labour and Employment should:

1.    Apologize openly to the organized Labour and visit our members who are currently in the hospital and we also appeal to all our members for calm with the belief that this matter would be amicably resolved within the shortest possible time.

2.   Inaugurate the board of NSITF and make our veteran, Comrade (Chief) Frank Ovie Kokori as the Chairman with no further delay and also ensure that the process is not shrouded in secrecy but must be transparent.

3.   We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to intervene on this matter to ensure sustenance of peace between organized Labour and the Ministry of Labour and Employment. We can never be ungrateful to him neither can we forget so soon his effort on the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage despite barrage of encumbrances it witnessed.

4.   We also ask all well-meaning Nigerians, to speak up on this matter as evil thrives when good people keep silent. What is the special thing or deal that Chief Chris Ngige is hiding from the public, that Chief Frank Kokori would expose if he is inaugurated as Chairman of NSITF board?

Gentlemen and ladies of the press, thank you for your patience and attention.

Question and Answer!

NUPENG 2019 MAY DAY MESSAGE

The National Leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), today May 1, 2019, otherwise known as Workers’ Day heartily rejoice with Nigeria’s oil and gas workers and other critical stakeholders in the industry as well as workers in general on this felicitous day that is globally and traditionally set aside to celebrate workers and their uniqueness.

It is a day not just for parades, speech-making, rallies, merriment, but a time to reflect and ponder on where we are coming from and how far we have gone.

May Day is therefore a period for sober reflection and review of our past activities with a view to fashioning a new path to progress and putting the struggle for the emancipation of Nigerian workers in the front burner.

As you all know, these are trying times for the workers of this great country, especially in the oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas sector has been bedeviled with numerous challenges ranging from redundancy, casualisation, outsourcing, hostile employers, to non-implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) to non-recognition of Unions in the workplace.

In the midst of these challenges in the oil and gas industry, we shall remained resolute and undaunted, we will never give up, as the Union will continue the struggles and resist anti-labour practices with all the resources at our disposal. Our mandate is to defend. Promote and protect the rights of our members and this we promise to do with all our might.

Be that as it may, the leadership of the Union enjoins all our members to use the auspicious occasion to be more united and avoid divisive tendencies, because unity is our strength.

The Union leadership also found it appropriate to commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for the passage and signing into Law, the new National Minimum Wage, giving workers in both the private and public sectors an opportunity to earn N30,000 as minimum pay. The expected impact of this intervention is far reaching both in terms of scope of coverage of the nation’s workforce and the financial implications.

It is our prayer that the government would not be distracted by some State Governors who may want to serve as impediments to the wheel of progress in this regard. We know there is no state in Nigeria that does not have the capacity to conveniently implement this modest benchmark for workers in their respective states.

Similarly, it is the desire of NUPENG to witness Presidential assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill. This legislation would not only help to create more jobs for Nigerians but will also foster conducive business environment for petroleum operations when signed into law.

NUPENG is further using this auspicious day to make passionate appeal to Federal Government to strengthen and activate all relevant employment laws of Nigeria to fight and win the battle against precarious and indecent work conditions of oil and gas workers, casualization, right to freedom of association (right to be unionized) and entrenchment of fair labour practices and policies.

Fellow Comrades, we will continue to count on your support and unalloyed loyalty in the numerous programmes already put in place to move the Union to greater heights.

The leadership of the Union will not rest on its oars to defend the rights and privileges of oil and gas workers in Nigeria.

NUPENG as trustee of posterity will continue to serve as a pillar of strength as we brave the challenges and storms, working together to build a dynamic, strong, united and prosperous nation.

Happy May Day to Nigeria oil and gas workers and the entire industrial community!

Our solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong!

COMRADE (PRINCE) WILLIAMS AKPOREHA
NUPENG NATIONAL PRESIDENT

COMRADE AFOLABI OLAWALE
GENERAL SECRETARY OF NUPENG