Protest Hits Port Harcourt Over Acquisition Of Giant Oil Company

Workers of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company have stormed the oil company in  Port Harcourt to express their displeasure over its acquisition by Oando Plc.

They demand an end to the acquisition of the Company’s facilities by Oando Plc, noting that about 3,000 of its workforce risk being sent back into the labour market.

Bahdstreetvibes on Wednesday reported that some members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have reportedly fallen sick over the news of the sales of Eni Nigeria and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Limited to Oando Plc.

The senior oil and gas workers have expressed displeasure at Oando’s acquisition of 100 percent shares of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited and Eni Nigeria’s outright sale of its 20 percent equity share in NAOC JV.

The Branch Chairman of Agip Group PENGASSAN in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, Eyong Survival, has revealed that since the news broke a few days ago, some association staff have fallen sick because about 3000 jobs are on the line. After all, the details of the acquisition are not known to the union.

Survival led other staff to a protest on Friday to demand a halt in the transaction.

The protesters blocked access to Agip premises in Port Harcourt while it called on the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly, and regulatory bodies to halt the transaction.

Survival alleged that the acquisition process contravenes known labour laws and, if allowed to be concluded, will lead to the disengagement of over 3,000 staff.

He asserted that the effect of the transaction is already being felt as gas supplies have been cut from critical infrastructures and towns.

The labour leader, however, noted that in case the transaction has been concluded, the staff must be given special severance packages, and those entitled to be transferred to the new owner must be allowed to do so without difficulty.

He said the affected facilities in the acquisition process are the Oil Mining Leases in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Imo states.

However, the staff has withdrawn services in all the facilities run by Agip, pending a favourable response from the oil giant.

On Monday, Oando Plc announced an agreement with ENI to purchase 100% of Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s shares in the company.

This transaction, however, is still subject to ministerial approval and other extant regulatory approvals.

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