Abuja Agog As NUPENG Celebrates 40 Years of Meritorious Unionism

The two-day 40th anniversary celebrations of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on December 5 and 6, 2018 in Abuja at the International Conference Centre had come and gone but not without recording huge attendance and success as planned.
The chosen anniversary theme to commemorate the epochal and landmark milestone was, “Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,”.
Addressing the audience during the grand finale celebration on Thursday (Dec. 6, 2018) the President of the Union, Comrade (Prince) Williams Eniredonana Akporeha said;
“It has been four decades of unrelenting struggles in defense of the rights of our members and improvement of the working conditions of all oil and gas workers in Nigeria. Without sounding immodest, NUPENG has in the last four decades consistently and creditably contributed not only to the growth and development of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry, the enthronement of industrial peace and harmony in the Oil and Gas Industry but it has also positively impacted on the sociopolitical and economic development of Nigeria as a nation.”
He continued: “Legendary amongst the battles was the struggle for the restoration of the collective mandate of Nigerians freely and fairly given on June 12 1993. It was a battle we embarked in defense of democracy. The battle brought out the latent revolutionary capacity and posture of NUPENG with its sister organization, PENGASSAN.
While reminiscing on the past, Akporeha stated; “We suffered dearly for the courage and patriotic determination we exhibited in the June 12 struggle. So many of our comrades were beaten, brutalized, maimed,killed and detained without trials.
NUPENG was proscribed and leaders of the union, (President of NUPENG then), Comrade (Late) Wariebi Kojo Agamene and the then General Secretary of the union, Comrade Frank OvieKokori were arrested and made to suffer series of dehumanizing treatments in detention for four years.”
Comrade Akporeha however decried the continued casualisation of workers by oil companies, saying that the union would always fight for better working conditions of its members.
“The enormous challenges confronting our union, most especially with regards to the employers, government and general public perception of our enormous powers, influence and ever constant solidarity.
“We know that most often many employers are scared of relating with us and this wrong perception is sometimes responsible for the hostile attitude to our efforts in organizing their employees.
“In the light of this realization, our administration will embark on massive public image polishing and mending relationship with all aggrieved stakeholders.
“Our new mission is to ensure prosperity and good returns for everyone in the industry.
“We pledge to be more cooperative and collaborative in our dealings but without compromising on the best interest of our members and global labour best practices.
“We have further resolved to be more open and engaging in social dialogue with all stakeholders. We urge everyone, government, employers and the public to know that we are fully committed.
“That is in rendering efficient, effective and public/stakeholders friendly services to our dear country and its citizens,” he said.
Comrade Akporeha also used the medium to Express gratitude to God for availing him the opportunity to be the Union’s sitting President who would be at the helms of affairs during the celebrations.
“I am really overwhelmed and grateful to God that it is under my leadership that the forty years’ anniversary of our great union is being celebrated today and I sincerely want to thank our teaming members for making this possible. The Comrade President stated.
Meanwhile, NUPENG received fresh assurance from President Muhammadu Buhari who gave a pledge at the event through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would soon be signed into law once the bill is transmitted to the presidency maintaining that it would address most of the challenges of the oil workers and the industry as a whole.
Buhari further urged the workers to support his administration towards ensuring better welfare for workers and also commended the workers for the progress made, while urging them to dialogue instead of shutting down the country while in a dispute with their employers.
He said: “Certain revolutionary steps have been taken in the Oil industry which will aid the peaceful co-existence of employers and employees in the sector”.
Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the 40th Anniversary of NUPENG with a theme: “Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow “ President Buhari noted that employers and employees have a symbiotic relationship, as their mutual survival depended on a harmonious partnership between them.
He called on Labour to always dialogue instead of shutting down the country while in a dispute with their Employers.
“Mr President asked me to congratulate you on the celebrations of your 40 years in existence. He is a workers friendly President that is concern about better working condition for workers. He is a president that respect the rule of law and the law of the land. He promised to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill once is brought to him.”

Also, former Head of State Yakubu Gowon called on the union to ensure availability of fuel supply during the yuletide season.

He added that owing to the recent spate of strikes, citizens were beginning to see NUPENG as a force for economic dislocation.
He urged them to embrace dialogue rather than using strike as a first option.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on his part noted that labour leaders have achieved more using dialogue rather than confrontations in addressing issues, stressing “I believe that the best unionists are those who learn to engage in dialogue and to that extent i must appreciate all the unions in Delta State for partnering with us through dialogue to help us derive peace and consolidate on the gains that have been made by previous administrations in our dear state”.
“Unionism is good and it is something that must be encouraged as a nation and in the various industries because without unions there will be chaos in work places. NUPENG is strong in pushing for the welfare of her members but we must have it in mind that as a union we have a lot of role to play in the affairs of the nation whenever we gather to discuss”, the governor added.
While congratulating NUPENG on its 40th anniversary celebrations, Governor Okowa commended the organisation for its maturity in handling labour issues stating “NUPENG has been a very reasonable union in the course of administering her members in this nation because there are some people when they do realise that they are a very important organisation as a union they can use it very wrongly to hold the nation to ransom but that has not been the drive of NUPENG and we thank God for that and that is why unions must partner with those in government in Nigeria in the interest of our nation.”
In addition, the anniversary extended various awards to both individuals and corporate organizations for their illustrious contributions to the growth and development of oil and gas industry in Nigeria President Mohammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor Simon Lalong, Maikanti Baru, Nyesom Wike, etc. Members of staff were also honoured with long service awards as well as the Union’s veterans.
However, just as it was planned the day 1 of the anniversary ceremonies witnessed wide array of activities like cultural dance competition among the 4 zonal councils of the Union, followed by a round table discussion with the topic, “Local Contents in Nigeria oil and gas industry; wherein lies interests of Nigeria workers?
This topic was exhaustively and passionately dealt with by the well selected discussants after a lead paper presentation by an erudite lawyer, Barrister Femi Falana (SAN). During this session discussants admonished key stakeholders in the industry especially NUPENG to take the bull by the horn and defend oil and gas workers’ rights no matter whose ox is gored.
Barrister Falana, who was the lead speaker regretted that in spite of the fact that oil was discovered in Nigeria over 60 years ago, the neo-colonial state has not made conscious efforts to control the petroleum industry, hence all the Acts promulgated and decree made to regulate the industry, have failed to give effect to local content in the petroleum industry.
Stressing the need to end the monopoly of oil and gas industry by foreign interest groups; he pointed out that the upstream industry has for decades functioned as an enclave economy with minimal impact on the wider industry.
Falana criticized President Buhari for his failure to sign the PIGB, adding that, “the refusal of President Buhari to sign the Petroleum Industry Bill into law is a major victory for the International Oil Companies (IOCs), which would have to do with new fiscal terms in favour of Nigeria, increasing local ownership of the oil and gas industry, and strict control of industrial waste and pollution of the oil producing communities.
He, however, advised NUPENG and PENGASSAN, to invest in the training of their members to acquire the requisite knowledge in petroleum technology, since the industry requires skilled staff in many areas.
He warned that unless oil workers and the Nigerian people are prepared to ensure the enforcement of the Nigeria Content Act and other relevant legislations and policies the foreign control of the oil and gas industry will not cease.
Apart from Falana, other participating discussants during the round-table included, Dr Kayode Ajulo, a legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mrs. Omabie Akpan from the Ministry of Labour, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, a seasoned trade unionist etc. The event equally had a session whereby Nigeria oil and gas tools, products and projects were exhibited by the industry stakeholders.
Some of those in attendance were the Union’s veterans, Comrade Ovie Frank Kokori, Comrade Joseph Akinlaja (Chairman of round table discussion), Comrade Isaac Aberare, Comrade Peter Akpatason, Comrade Joseph Ogbebor, representatives of National Union of Minesworkers of both South Africa and Ghana, President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, National Chairman of PTD branch of NUPENG, Comrade (Otunba) Akanni Oladiti, among other dignitaries.

Pictures: NUPENG GS, Comrade Adamu Song In Group Photograph With Members of Staff Clad In 40th Anniversary Shirts

The General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Adamu Song in a group photograph with some members of staff clad in Union’s branded 40th anniversary shirts at the National Secretariat in Jibowu, Lagos. Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

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Former Head Of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon Hosts NUPENG President, Comrade Akporeha

President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Williams Eniredonana Akporeha was on Tuesday (November 13, 2018) received by His Excellency, (Rtd.) General Yakubu Gowon GCFR, former Head of State, Federal Republic of Nigeria in Abuja.

Akporeha was received in company of the Union’s Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations, Comrade Afolabi Olawale during the courtesy to the former Nigerian leader.

The National leadership of NUPENG also got the approval from the elderstatesman (General Gowon), to be the Chairman of the Union’s 40th anniversary ceremonies which will take place in December 5th and 6th, 2018 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Also in attendance was the former Inspector General of Police, Mr Mike Mbama Okiro.

Okiro held sway as IGP from 2007 to 2009 and was later appointed by the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission on May 8, 2013, a position he held for 5 years until July 2018 when he later handed over to Musiliu Smith who was also a former IGP.

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PTD: Road Infrastructure Development Under Fashola Commendable, By Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti

The socio-economic development and subsequent economic growth of any nation is strongly linked to its better state of infrastructure.
Sadly, there had been massive and annoying deficiency of key infrastructure in Nigeria for decades now. Of great importance to an average petroleum tanker driver is road infrastructure. The brunt of the deficiencies in this infrastructure is mostly felt by the members of Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) who traverse the length and breadth of the country to ensure supply of petroleum products for private, domestic, commercial and industrial use.
The Lagos branch of NUPENG (PTD) which by the grace of God I have led for umpteenth times had complained bitterly through various medium of communications, pointing out to every government in power the need for them to address the challenges faced by our hardworking members that are often faced with various degrees of hazards occasioned by deplorable roads.
It is regrettable to say that some of our members suffered permanent disability, while some suffered not only lose of products they haulaged but became victims of untimely death. The officials of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) could attest to this, even with verifiable and accurate statistics.
However, it would also be uncharitable for us if we fail to notice significant improvements in infrastructure development from rail to ports, power and roads and refuse to commend or show some measure of appreciation. With no shred of doubts, this administration under the leadership of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) as Federal Minister of Power, Road and Housing has profoundly shown strong commitment and determination to complete both ongoing and abandoned projects by previous administrations.
Honestly when President Muhammadu Buhari made him a minister, I knew he would swing surprises, we can all see things are improving in all the sectors he is currently superintending.
Today, there is no state in Nigeria where the federal government is not executing one road project or the other with the aim of bringing respite and soccour to the people. It is not a mistake or an act of sycophancy to overtly say the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is for real in the interest of Nigerians.
Specifically, the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing has begun the inspection to help ascertain the integrity of the 11.8 kilometres Third Mainland Bridge as preparations are ongoing for its full maintenance and repairs. This deserves commendation, as this is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, a city adjudged as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.
Commendably, this effort is a demonstration of the Ministry’s commitment, determination vision, foresight and political will to impact on the lives of the citizenry.
Other highly trafficked roads which are presently opened to construction or rehabilitation by this government are;  Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha; construction of the dual carriageway of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja (Sections I-IV) in FCT/Kogi State; construction of the Kano–Maiduguri dual carriage Road (Sections I-V) in Kano/Bauchi/Yobe/Borno states; and the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway (Sections I-IV) in Enugu/Abia/Rivers states.
Similarly the Ministry is as well not leaving any stone unturned in ensuring rehabilitation/reconstruction of the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Expressway in Lagos/Oyo states; construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue states; reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Sagamu Road in Edo/Ondo/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridgehead; and rehabilitation of Ilorin-J’ebba-Mokwa Road.
The Petrol Tanker Drivers branch of NUPENG is giving these open mentions not for any political reasons but to encourage the Ministry to do more. PTD also urges all approving authorities and those saddled with release of capital not to starve concerned ministries with necessary approvals and in situations where extra funds are needed, the National Assembly should not hesitate to approve supplementary budget when called upon to do so for public interest and good.
PTD is specifically delighted to emphasize that the government has prioritized infrastructure development as key in its development agenda for the country. It is also pleasing to see that government has pledged to construct new and comprehensive network of rural access roads and trunk roads to serve the remote and urban areas, safely and efficiently. This will ultimately mark yet another milestone in the development of the country. I commend this development, seeing that this government is walking the talk and endeavoring achieving its campaign promises.
The level and quality of transportation systems in any society are of crucial significance in influencing political, economic and social progress, and these must be considered at every stage of local, national and regional development planning. Without good roads, it is difficult to have socially inclusive development interventions. These include improved accessibility to social infrastructure (schools, churches and health centres), increased access to education and health facilities and improved social interaction and mobility. These are important for social and economic development, improved access to markets through the reduction of transport costs and improvement of the marketability of perishable goods through timely and cheaper transportation.
On the supply side, direct benefits of improved road networks include reduced vehicle operating costs; savings in travel time; reduced accident costs resulting from the upgrade of the proposed roads; possible savings in road maintenance costs (because roads are bound to withstand harsh weather if they are well-maintained). The APC-led government must be commended for this success story. And for us who are key stakeholders in the country’s petroleum downstream value chain, we cannot but express our unalloyed joy for this laudable development at a time like this.
On our part as PTD, we would never renege in entrenching safety on the roads by eschewing unhealthy traffic behaviours. This we would persistently sustain through periodic training for our members and at no time would we compromise minimum safety standard or any other acts that contravene highway code. PTD though has no affiliation with any political party in Nigeria but deemed it appropriate to wish the APC-led government best of luck and success while it drives the country with purpose and vision that would be beneficial to all.
–Oladiti is the National Chairman of Petrol Tanker Drivers Branch of NUPENG, he wrote from Abuja

Minimum Wage: NUPENG Allays Fear, Awaits Outcome of Negotiations With Govt

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has publicly dissociated itself from a misleading publication in some session of the media, insinuating that the oil Union would be participating in the proposed nationwide strike in demand for increase in workers’ minimum wage.
The timely reaction was contained in a press release signed by the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Adamu Song on Sunday (November 4, 2018) and made available to the media and other strategic stakeholders in the country so as to douse tension and set the record straight as Nigerians approach the festive season.
Recall NLC and other Labour Centres in the country had fixed November 6, 2018 for the commencement of an indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to approve the N30, 000 it is demanding as minimum wage.
The NLC rejected the N22, 500 proposed by State Governors.
On Friday November 2nd, 2018, the Federal government secured an order from the National Industrial Court barring NLC from proceeding on its planned nationwide industrial action. NLC however, insist on embarking on the strike, claiming that they had not been served with court processes.
NUPENG Press Release read in full:
”Contrary to the misguided publication by some print media, the leadership of NUPENG wishes to inform the general public that it has not taken any definite stand on the proposed nationwide industrial action
We are mindful of the fact that consultations are still ongoing at different levels to resolve all issues at stake.
We urge the general public to avoid unnecessary panic and confusion.
We also urge all our members to remain calm and wait for formal directive from the national secretariat of our great Union. We shall overcome.
Thank you and God bless
Yours Comradely,
For: Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers.
Comrade Adamu Song,
General Secretary.”

Photos: NUPENG President, Comrade Williams Akporeha During A Visit To NNPC GMD, Dr Maikanti Baru

National President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Comrade Williams Akporeha and his National Administrative Council members (NAC) during a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru and his management team at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday October 25, 2018.

It was also a gathering through which Dr Maikanti inaugurated NNPC’s newly-elected Group Executive Council (GEC) members of the NUPENG who will be led in the next four years by Comrade David P. Idache.

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Comrade Afolabi Commends PTD for Training Drivers, Says Initiative Yielding Positive Results

The Deputy General Secretary (DGS) of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in charge of Operations, Comrade Afolabi Olawale on Monday (Oct. 22, 2018) advised the Petroleum Tanker Driver (PTD) to adhere strictly to safety standards.
Comrade Afolabi gave the advice during a National Safety Training organised by the Lagos State chapter of PTD.
He said adhering to roads safety standards was the only antidote to frequent accidents and tankers explosions within city centres and on major roads.
He commended NUPENG PTD under the leadership of Comrade (Otunba) Akanni Salimon Oladiti for conducting timely and regular training for their drivers, even as he tasked the drivers to appreciate safety strategies at all times.
The DGS who is also a key facilitator at the training said at the end of the five day training (Monday Oct. 22 to 26, 2018), each driver who participated in the training would have been effectively equipped with relevant information that would make them to be efficient and resourceful in their chosen career.
“I believe the training will create a very big impact on the attitude of tanker drivers on the highway. Without contradiction training like this will help to reduce, if not totally eradicate, frequent tanker accidents on the highway because if a tanker gets involved in an accident, it is going to cause a lot of damage to people and properties. PTD must therefore be commended for training their members because they are the ones that have interface with the vehicles and other road users,” he said.
He added that the programme would also address other challenges associated with tanker drivers.
“I am so pleased today and can boldly say that the efforts of NUPENG so far have not been in vain. We have recorded almost no major accidents this year and according to the records and statistics of FRSC road fatalities occasioned by tanker drivers have reduced drastically, this is good news for us as a Union. It shows our campaign on safety on wheels is yielding the desired results.
“We are happy that we are not only oiling the economic wheel of this nation, we are doing it in such a way that we put the safety of lives and property of Nigerians above personal gains and we spare no cost to achieve this important goal,” he stated
Comrade Afolabi however called on all stakeholders to be alive to their responsibilities and work for the good of the nation especially the oil and gas value chain which is the key driver of Nigeria’s economy.
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PTD Organizes National Safety Training for Members in Lagos

Leaders of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, at Jibowu in Lagos on Monday, October 22, 2018 commenced a ”National Safety Training for all Tanker Drivers on Steering” to instill discipline, put a check to accidents on highways and save innocent lives.
National Chairman of PTD, Comrade (Otunba) Salimon Akani Oladiti, at the beginning of the National Safety Training Programme, a five-day programme (Monday Oct 22 to Friday Oct. 26 ), said such training of members was a very critical aspect of the union’s goals and objectives.
Oladiti said the Union was aiming at zero tanker accident in the country and urged the drivers to take the advantages of the training, noting that the training would bring changes in their lives and to other road users.
“When you have an opportunity like this training, you have to make use of it. If you can train yourself again, you can achieve more in life. I am happy to see that today, the training and retraining organized by this branch of NUPENG had been able to impact discipline in tanker drivers, and to reduce accident to barest minimum taking into cognizance minimum safety standards”
Comrade Oladiti also took time to expose 61 members of the Union who had been expelled due to misconducts, including fraudulent activities. According to him, those sanctioned will not be employed any longer in the industry because they pose danger to the progress of the union.

“The development is imperative as the union will not want to be tagged as one involved in economic sabotage.

“The offences vary from stealing of petroleum products, pipeline vandalism, product adulteration, petroleum products’ theft and illegal bunkering,’’ Oladiti said.

He added that others vices included hijack of truck, manhole manipulation, constant shortage, sales of petroleum product and replacing with bad ones.

He said the training which started three years ago had passed the test of time and equally led to reduction in accidents.

Mr Oladiti said the union had been constantly educating the members on how their contemporaries in developed country operated.

He said that the Union would also ensure the use of modern devices in motoring the members’ activities while on road, saying though, not a new method in most developed countries.

He commended FRSC for its involvement and support in the training since inception of the programme.

The PTD National Chairman further urged members to always be professional in their activities and ensure that their quota contributed positively to national development.

He also condemned a common habit among drivers whereby they remove speedometers from the dashboard of their truck in order not to know their speed.

Besides, the PTD boss noted that the Union would continue collaborating with the FRSC to ensure that petroleum tanker drivers did not become nuisance to the society.

The National President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha on his part commended the leadership of Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of NUPENG for their proactive and visionary initiatives among its members to ensure safety and orderliness on the roads.
Akporeha further said tanker owners must ensure that their vehicles were in good condition to avoid unnecessary crashes.
“We implore you to maintain safety standards and ensure that you do not cut any corners as you go about your businesses,” he said.
Today, I am really impressed that PTD branch of NUPENG and operators of haulage vehicles are conducting regular and relevant training such as this for their drivers, and the drivers are also being taught on how to appreciate safety strategies not only to their advantage only but to other road users.
“It is our joy to see tanker drivers ensuring contents in their vehicles are not dropping on the highways. It doesn’t take any effort for the high inflammable product to explode, if adequate care are not taken. I must also appropriate the efforts of the FRSC and other relevant agencies for their collaborations to ensure safety on our roads ” he said.
Also speaking on Monday was the Federal Road Safety Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi (FRSC) who said economic loss worth N9.8 billion was lost in 196 traffic crashes recorded so far across the country in 2018. He said that the loss involved the cost of other vehicles, lives and damage to the environment and roads.
He, however, said that there was a slight reduction in the number of crashes recorded during the period, compared to previous years. According to him, the agency recorded 282 accidents involving tanker drivers in 2016 and 240 in 2017.

“We have an agreement with NUPENG PTD to organise periodic training programme for their drivers.

“This is very critical even though we have seen reduction in the traffic crashes involving tanker drivers.

“We have recorded 196 this year and the economic value is about N9.8 billion loss, involving cost of other vehicles, lives, damage to the environment and to the roads.

“NUPENG PTD is putting its best to set up capacity workshop for the tanker drivers. Once they finished in Lagos, the other programme will take place in Kaduna and Warri and this is very impressive.

“We are going to give our maximum support to NUPENG towards ensuring that the 4,000 tanker drivers are fully trained,” he said.

The FRSC boss also urged the union to carry out more visual tests on drivers, saying that it had been discovered that 30 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers had visual acuity challenges.

“We encourage them on the visual acuity test. During the study carried out about three months ago, we discovered that 30 per cent of the commercial drivers experience vision acuity challenges.

“Wearing a pair of glasses is not a crime and will not result to loss of jobs but will improve their vision activity measure.’’

He observed that many of the people were hypertensive and with high sugar levels.

He said that it was important for NUPENG PTD to ensure periodic medical examination for its drivers to ensure road safety culture in the country.

Others who were present at the venue were, Deputy President of NUPENG, Comrade Solomon Kilanko, Chairman NUPENG Lagos Zonal Office, Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, Deputy General Secretary of NUPENG in charge of operations, Comrade Olawale Afolabi, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo (Former Lagos Chairman of NUPENG Lagos Zone) etc.

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NUPENG Hosts Editors To Dinner, Unveils Union’s 40th Anniversary Mascot

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The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has formally unveiled its 40th anniversary mascot at a diner and media chat held at Sheraton hotel in Lagos on Saturday October 13, 2018. The colourful ceremony had in attendance editors of print, broadcast, online magazines as well as senior labour and energy correspondents.
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According to the chief host, the President of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha,” The unveiling of NUPENG’s anniversary mascot is the start of what officially becomes the symbol of Union’s landmark 40th anniversary of vibrant unionism, values highlighting distinctive character with long history of bold and indelible achievements in the interest of our members in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and Nigeria at large. We are also delighted to inform you about our anniversary theme which we tagged, Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, with the slogan, NUPENG at 40, still waxing strong.”  Comrade Akporeha said.
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The anniversary mascot was clothed with a star-like garment reflecting the Union’s colour (blue/white) with different icons, one of which was the Union’s traditional logo, oil rig, tank farm, petroleum tanker, and a filling station. These significant icons are clear description of some of the sectors where the Union usually draws its membership from.
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The anniversary mascot has also been designed in form of stickers, car air fresheners and will accordingly appear on the Union’s branded face-caps, wrist bands, and other promotional items during the anniversary season. It will also be mounted at the Union’s National secretariats, zonal secretariats, liaison offices, etc.
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Impressively, the beautifully designed mascot creatively captured the essence of the remarkable historic moment of the Union, and the unveiling ceremony was done by the national president of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha alongside his team of national executives, led by the Union’s General Secretary Comrade Adamu Song, followed by the Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations, Comrade Afolabi Adewale.Others were Comrade Alex Agwanwor (National Treasurer), Comrade Monday Osunde (National Trustee), Comrade Rotimi Benjamin (Vice President Lagos), Comrade Otite Onohwohwo (PAGS Admin), Comrade Anthony Chukwu (PAGS Finance/Account), Comrade Adamson Momoh (PAGS Research P/A), Comrade Tayo Aboyeji (Chairman Lagos Zone) and other secretariat staff.

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The Deputy General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Olawale Afolabi however took time to narrate the journey of the Union in the last 4 decades through a projected powerpoint presentation which captured the mission, objective, scope, membership, past Presidents and General Secretaries of the Union etc. Before this presentation was made, the audience enjoyed a short documentary about the Union and this was projected intermittently on the big screen to their delight.

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The public ceremony was a kick off to numerous activities that are specifically organized to commemorate the Union’s anniversary. According to the leadership of the Union, December 5th and 6th are the days set aside for the full-swing ceremonies of the anniversary which will hold in Abuja, precisely at the International Conference Centre.
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Some of the activities slated for the anniversary are, colourful exhibition of oil gas products, tools and equipment, cultural competitions, talk shows which will involve the Union’s veterans (past presidents and secretaries) and other high profile personalities in the society etc.

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In addition, campaign messages will also be populated on the Union’s various social media platforms and on the Union’s official website, albeit, the traditional media will also not be left out for dissemination of similar information within this period.

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Besides, awards and recognition will also go to some hard working and illustrious members of staff and those who have served meritoriously for a reasonable number of years; this will also be extended to individuals, corporate organizations, and other key social partners who have contributed immensely to the overall growth and development of the country’s oil and gas industry and ultimately those that have engendered peaceful and harmonious industrial relations. NUPENG has also deemed it necessary to offer same gesture to the President of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari who would be deservedly honoured with a prestigious award of ”GCOGN” Grand Comrade of Oil and Gas Workers’ Union of Nigeria.

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NUPENG over the past four decades has commendably saddled itself with the task of organizing and unionizing oil and gas workers, negotiating better working conditions and benefits for workers through purpose driven collective bargaining agreement, assisting in resolving disputes between its members and their employers, resolving disputes among its members, promoting and encouraging international fraternal relations with bodies having the interest of petroleum and natural gas workers at heart, organizing education and training programmes for members among others laudable functions and responsibilities.

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7th October 2018

Dr. Chris Ngige

Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity

Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity

Federal Secretariat

Abuja – FCT


7th October is marked worldwide as a day for Decent Work.  Consequently, the National Council of INDUSTRIALL GLOBAL UNION FEDERATION in Nigeria consisting of the following seven Affiliates: National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN); National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber and Non-Metallic Product Employees (NUCFRLANMPE; National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE); Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG); Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria(SEWUN); Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association(PENGASSAN); Chemical and Non-metallic  Product Senior Staff Association (CANMPSSAN); and AUTOBATE  join the global force of over 50 million members taking action against all forms of precarious work.

Precarious work refers to work relationship with no distinct terms of employment such as the letter of employment stating the terms and conditions of employment.  Precarious workers are indirect employees who are hired, supervised and remunerated by a contractor who in turn is compensated by the Company. Thus Industrial relations practice is virtually absent in the environment of precarious work since trade unions are not allowed to organise workers. Workers are not allowed to have representation or interface with the Principal or the Contractor {Hiring Party} who most times has no identifiable address or formal structure to facilitate Industrial relations.

This development is great assault on the welfare and dignity of Workers and it has negative consequences for the union as well. The effects on workers and trade unions are quite obvious and include some of the following:

  • Lack of employment contract
  • Lack of job security
  • Long hours of work beyond statutory 8 hours
  • Non Payment of overtime
  • Low and uncertain wages
  • Poor working conditions
  • Non-payment of pension contribution etc
  • Denial of workers right to join the union and bargain collectively among others

Precarious Work has led to increasing erosion of basic workers rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.  The use of temporary/casual workers has led to depletion in the membership and capacity to organize in all sectors that include oil and gas, chemical and non-metallic, steel and engineering, electricity and textile.

In the Steel and Engineering sector there has been denial of recognition for the union in Standard Metallurgical Industries limited, Mikano Nigeria Limited and Iron Products Industy Limited (IPI ltd) all in a bid to continue to perpetuate unfair labour practices rendering more than a thousand employees as casuals and contract workers.

In the Oil and Gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have embarked on perennial campaigns and struggle to get SHELL, CHEVRON and other International Oil Companies operate in accordance with our labour laws and international labour standards.  These include refusal to allow unionization of contract staff, fragmentation of contract to frustrate the efforts of the union in organising precarious workers and pressurizing workers to sign pre-engagement undertaking for non-membership of the union. Recently, the NUPENGASSAN expressed worries and concerns with the manner Chevron’s management was executing the end of M-15 and H-15 contacts ending by October 31, 2018 which was laced with hidden plans and intention to unilaterally sack thousands of contract workers despite the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.

In the Chemical and Non-Metallic sector, several Industries are denying the union the right to organise. These include CDK Industries, Sagamu, Emzor pharmaceuticals, Fine Coats, Orange Drugs Pharmaceuticals, Fidson Pharmaceuticals and Dangote Cement Factories among others. In particular, the unions frowned at the biased role of the Ministry’s Official in the handling of the redundancy exercise in Swiss Pharmaceuticals and in condoning the Executive lawlessness of Mr Gaby Elichoury, the Managing Director.

In the power sector, our affiliate NUEE is battling entrenched tradition of precarious since privatization of PHCN. Egbin power Plc leads the assault on Workers rights perennially denying workers the right to join the union. Egbin power plant is involved in the militarization of the workplace by deployment of soldiers to harass and intimidate especially those interested in union membership. It is regrettable that after more than four years of operation, the giant power generation unit is yet to negotiate and put in place conditions of service based on collective bargaining. Similarly Electricity distribution Companies (DISCOS) in Enugu, Ikeja and Benin refused to sign and implement conditions of service for workers negotiated over four years now. Both generation and distribution companies engage in arbitrary lay-off of workers without laid down procedure.

Further, it is unacceptable that the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) and Nigeria Industrial Court (NIC) will deliver judgements and employers will disregard such judgements.  A  typical example is the case of SINO PP Woven Sack in Kano where the Textile Union has strived since 2003 to organize the workers.  As at today, the Chinese employer is yet to respect the judgement of the apex court of Nigeria, the National Industrial Court (NIC).

Under section 40 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 9 (6a) and 9(6b) of the Labour Act Cap 198 Laws of the Federation 1990, Nigeria workers have unfettered rights to associate and join the union.  We stand on a solid premise knowing that we have protective legislations that guarantee basic employment and trade union rights. We are also assured of the enormous protection that comes from Nigeria’s ratification of conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO on the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

We therefore demand immediate end to all forms of employment that offend human dignity and deny workers access to living wages, social protection and denial of the right to join the union. We ask employers of labour to respect the law and where the law is observed in breach, the ministry of labour and other agencies of Government should enforce the law.

Finally, we demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour under the leadership of Dr Chris Ngige stand up and renew its commitment and will to further enhance its monitoring duties and ensure that every employer complies with the provisions of our labour laws.

Please be assured of our esteemed regards as we look forward to fundamental changes in the operations of the Ministry and improved inspection, monitoring and enforcement of our labour laws.

Olatunji B.G                                                                         Ismail Bello

Chairman                                                                              Secretary