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Nigeria Oil Rig Workers Ready to Join Nationwide Strike

One of the largest trade unions in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is ready to join the ongoing nationwide strike over minimum wage but is awaiting the outcome of a Tuesday meeting before ordering offshore oil workers off platforms, the head of the union told Reuters.

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said this weekend it would comply with the call of one of the country’s largest trade unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress, to join the indefinite nationwide strike.

In a notice on Saturday, NUPENG notified all its “members and Branches in all Oil and Gas installations, operations and services including distribution and marketing of Petroleum products, that our great Union is fully committed to ensuring total compliance with the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress.” 

However, the union has not recalled yet workers from offshore oil rigs.

NUPENG is holding off on “recalling members from offshore oil platforms until the meeting with government today,” the union’s president Williams Akporeha told Reuters on Tuesday.

The government and unions are in ongoing talks over the minimum wage after the largest trade unions in Nigeria shut down on Monday the country’s power grid.

The unions initiated the strike in response to the government’s refusal to agree to their proposed minimum wage. They also demand that an electricity tariff hike for better-off consumers be reversed. The government hiked last month the tariff for consumers using more electricity as it seeks to reduce subsidies in the economy.  

Nigeria’s foreign exchange and government revenues continue to be heavily dependent on energy exports.  

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and the national oil and gas firm NNPC have vowed to ramp up production of oil and gas to boost revenues for the country.

Oil theft and pipeline vandalism have long plagued Nigeria’s upstream oil and gas industry, driving majors out of the country and often resulting in force majeure at the key crude oil export terminals.


By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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