Nigeria:  NUPENG suspends industrial action planned over Chevron dispute

One of Nigeria’s main oil and gas trade unions said on Friday it had suspended planned industrial action related to a staffing dispute with U.S. oil major Chevron . OPEC member Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and crude sales bring about 90% of foreign exchange, but the moribund state of refineries means it imports most refined fuel.

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had accused U.S. oil major Chevron of sacking hundreds of Nigerian workers and altering contracts, both of which it said were in violation of an agreement. On Thursday, the union issued a statement in which it said it was prepared to take industrial action if certain demands, including the return to work of all “NUPENG executives”, were not met by Chevron within 7 days.

But, in its new statement, NUPENG said it had suspended the planned industrial action following talks brokered by the state oil company that were held on Thursday and Friday. “All our members are directed to step down the red alert message … as we assure all and sundry of normal supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” it said, adding that talks were ongoing “to amicably resolve the matter”. Chevron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.