By Nathan Nwakamma
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has taken steps to avert an impending industrial action at Agbami Offshore Oilfield operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL).
Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, General-Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said this in a telephone conversation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa.
Okugbawa said that Sylva had scheduled a meeting with leadership of the union for Thursday, to find a lasting solution to the industrial disharmony.
PENGASSAN had threatened to down tools and shutdown the deep offshore facility over moves by Chevron to cut its workforce by 25 per cent amongst other issues.
NAN recalls that CNL had in a statement on Oct. 2, 2020 announced plans to lay off at least 600 of its workforce, a development that irked the in-house branch of PENGASSAN to protest.
Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs, had in a response statement, made available to NAN noted that the 25 per cent job cut was to reposition the oil firm for greater efficiency and competitiveness.
Okugbawa said that, “the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has scheduled a meeting on April 15.
”We are not on strike yet, the Minister of Petroleum, Timipri Sylva, has scheduled a meeting with us for negotiations.
“It is after our meeting with him that we shall agree on the decision for the industrial action.
“By the end of work on Thursday, the outcome of our meeting will be known,” the PENGASSAN scribe said.
Agbami field which has capacity for up to 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) currently produces some 140,000 bpd according to industry data. (NAN)