Nigeria incurs a loss of N149 billion as a result of a single-day strike by energy workers


Nigeria reportedly suffered a significant loss of approximately N148.8bn in oil revenue on Monday due to the industrial action initiated by the Organised Labour. The protest was in response to the Federal Government’s proposal of an N60,000 minimum wage.

According to the most recent data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigeria produces 1,281,478 barrels of crude oil daily, excluding condensates.

On Monday, Brent, the global benchmark for crude oil, was traded at $78.27 per barrel. On Monday, the official exchange rate of the United States dollar was N1,483.5, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The oil workers from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers have consistently expressed their determination to close down oil installations across the country during the strike.

Starting from Monday, PENGASSAN has instructed its zonal, branch, and chapter executive councils to block the entrances of all upstream oil installations across the country.

According to industry sources, this change was put into effect at multiple stations on Monday, resulting in the interruption of oil production at those affected stations.

“Certainly, numerous stations witnessed substantial compliance from members today, serving as a clear message to the government,” shared an official of the union, who requested anonymity due to a lack of authorization to discuss the matter.

Considering the impact on crude oil production, the calculations reveal that Nigeria may have incurred a significant loss of approximately N148.8bn in just one day as a result of the strike. This disruption has had a substantial financial consequence for the country.

Earlier reports stated that PENGASSAN had instructed its enforcement teams to obstruct the entrances of all upstream oil installations across the country starting from Monday.

The directive was issued in a notice titled, “Special Announcement from the National Desk of PENGASSAN,” and was sent to all the oil union’s zonal, branch, and central executive councils.

According to a directive obtained by our correspondent, signed by Juliana Adenike, the Public Relations Officer of Lagos Zone, PENGASSAN, the association has explained that the order is by the strike declared by the Organised Labour.

The directive stated that strict compliance is mandatory regarding the planned withdrawal of service from all of our offices on Monday, June 3, 2024. Ensuring that our members do not enter or exit your offices is your responsibility.

“All zonal, branch, and chapter executives are required to wear red or any PENGASSAN attire." Please make sure to properly install your entrances and ensure full compliance with the above directive.

There will be a joint task force of TUC/NLC and Lagos ZECOM conducting inspections to ensure complete compliance. Penalties will be imposed on any company that is in default.

It is worth noting that PENGASSAN and NUPENG, on Saturday, sent separate letters to their National Executive Councils, instructing them to commence an indefinite strike on Monday.

The letters from PENGASSAN and NUPENG instructed their members to cease all operations in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the oil industry, except for personnel responsible for safety.

The letter was signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, the General Secretary of PENGASSAN, on behalf of the senior staff association. Afolabi Olawale, the General Secretary of NUPENG, signed on behalf of the downstream/midstream oil union.

NUPENG members have a significant influence over operations in the midstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry, while those in PENGASSAN primarily oversee the majority of upstream activities in the oil and gas sector.

The letter from PENGASSAN states, “By the instructions from our parent organization, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, regarding the matter mentioned above, you are instructed to cease your work at all locations starting from Monday, June 03, 2024.” The withdrawal of members encompasses various components such as offices, a logistics base, field operations, terminal operations, loading points, and more. The only exception pertains to personnel manning for safety purposes.

The above situation arose due to the breakdown of the discussion on the national minimum wage between the government and organized labour. It seems that the government is not willing to provide a minimum wage that can effectively tackle the current economic challenges faced by the country’s workforce.

“We require complete adherence, as any deviation will be seen as an act of undermining our cause and will result in appropriate consequences.”

In their correspondence titled “Compliance with the directive on an indefinite nationwide strike,” NUPENG expressed their unwavering commitment to the decision to go on strike.

The letter stated, "We extend warm greetings from the national secretariat of our esteemed union. We would like to inform all our members and branches in the oil and gas industry, including those involved in the distribution and marketing of petroleum products, that our union is fully dedicated to ensuring complete adherence to the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress. This directive, issued on Friday, May 31, 2024, calls for an indefinite nationwide strike starting from Monday, June 3, 2024.

It is disheartening to witness the Federal Government’s lack of sensitivity and responsiveness towards the pressing matter of negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers. This administration’s social economic policies have unfortunately led to the impoverishment of the working people in our country, which only adds to our deep concern and distress as a Union.

It is imperative for the leaders of our esteemed union, at every level, to promptly establish the necessary procedures to ensure complete adherence to this directive. We stand united, for our strength lies in our solidarity.