Strike looms as FG sets up panel on refineries sale

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday announced the members of a steering committee for the privatization headed by the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The refineries are:  the Port Harcourt Refining Company I; the Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited II; the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited; and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENSASSAN)on Tuesday  warned of an indefinite strike in January next year if the federal government goes ahead with the proposed sale of the nation’s refineries.
The two trade unions, who protested at the NNPC Towers in Abuja over the announcement by the Minister of Petroleum, Deizani Allison-Madueke that the federal government plans to sale the refineries by the first quarter of next year, said the oil workers would embark on a total strike if the minister does not retract the statement before December 24, 2013.
In their joint statements, Babatunde Ogun and Eddy Ossai, the Presidents of PENGASSAN and NUPENG respectively, said that the federal government had acted against their resolutions and decisions on the fuel subsidy regime and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). They also wondered why a Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) would be completed before sale of the refineries.
They cited the case of the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which they said only resulted in high tariff without improvement in electricity, adding that the sale of the refineries after the repairs will be a colossal loss to the country.


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