Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, has given assurance that staff of the state-owned oil company would not be sacked in the ongoing reforms of the NNPC.
Kachikwu, who disclosed this to labour union leaders in the oil and gas sector in Abuja yesterday, explained that the Federal Government will rather than reduce its workforce, expand the operations of the NNPC so as to make it competitive.
Speaking in the same vein, Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Achese Igwe, said some concessions had been reached with the Minister on the issue.
“We are going to vehemently resist any attempt to sack workers. We have advised service companies and multinational firms that are in the act of outsourcing and contracting that this will portend the loss of jobs for Nigerians. We say no to them because that is not what this government is all about.
“The government today talks about job creation and not job losses. With the current economic challenge we are having in our country, we need not to lose jobs that are already created”, Igwe said.
The NLC deputy president further stated that Kachikwu had assured labour union officials that there are no plans to cut jobs in the NNPC and its subsidiaries.
He said, “One of the concrete assurance he has given is that there will be no job losses. He has said there will be job security and he is thinking of expanding the business of the NNPC to be a profit organisation and to also be a world class oil and gas company like Petrobras, Petronas and the rest of them.
“If you ask me, what is the staff strength of the NNPC and what is the staff strength of Petrobras, Petronas and the rest of them? We are just an inch of the staff strength of these organisations. Most of them have a staff strength of 34,000 personnel and what is the staff strength of NNPC? The entire staff strength of NNPC today is not up 5,000 as the case maybe, and you are talking about these organisations that came after you or almost the same time with you.
“We have said clearly and I am speaking as the NUPENGASSAN chairman today that any attempt to cause job losses in the oil and gas sector especially at the NNPC, we will definitely react. We will resist it accordingly and we will do it within the framework of what labour union is known for”.