Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has warned that it may embark on industrial action due to what it described as a threat from the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
In a statement signed by the president of the union, Williams Akporeha, on Sunday, the union said the minister was out to persecute it due to its involvement in the protest staged by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over Ngige’s failure to inaugurate the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with Frank Kokori as its chairman.
Akporeha said Ngige had requested NUPENG to produce its outstanding financial returns for 2018 within 72 hours against the law which granted a 30-day grace.
He, however, warned that such action could plunge the nation into industrial crisis, saying the minister’s intention was to find a way to proscribe the union.
The statement reads; “NUPENG vehemently condemns the perceived threat by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to proscribe our union despite our strict adherence to the statutory mode of operations, laws of the land as well as international conventions since our formal registration as a trade union on August 15, 1978.
“It is shameful that the minister had to condescend so low by issuing a directive to NUPENG to produce its only outstanding financial returns for 2018 within 72 hours when the extant law stipulates 30 days, and even when such returns are supposed to be due by June 31, 2019.”
“We are by this press statement putting all our members in every oil and gas installations, including petroleum tanker drivers and all other members in the value chain of the industry on red alert while we watch out for any further infantile and ignoble antics from Ngige.”