Nigerian oil workers have threatened to withdraw their services if the federal government and other stakeholders do not immediately halt the current massive theft of the country’s crude oil and destruction of oil assets.
The workers, under the umbrella body of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), decried how engagements with the leadership of Nigeria security agencies, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders in the industry have yielded no result in curbing the menace. While addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr. Festus Osifo, National President of PENGASSAN, called for the imprisonment of security officers assigned to secure the country’s sabotaged oil pipelines.
Disclosing that the oil workers would withdraw their services if there’s no positive change after the workers’ nationwide rallies slated to begin on Thursday, Osifo accused officers of Nigeria’s security agencies of complicity in the menacing crude oil theft that has resulted in the country’s loss of desperately needed revenue. According to Osifo, the huge loss from the pipeline vandalism has forced oil companies to resort to regular shut-ins, with the oil workers being the first casualties of the decline in production.
How are they casualties?
Osifo said that due to severe under-production brought on by the crude oil theft, oil companies are forced to initiate measures to cut their operating cost, with the result being the oil workers’ loss of jobs. “This is a real challenge, a crisis that the government of the day must develop the political will, the muscles to go after the oil thieves”, he said. Expressing fears that there will be no solution to the crisis unless culprits are punished accordingly, Osifo said some security officers now pay to be posted to the Niger Delta. “The security men and women have become multi-millionaires overnight, he said, adding that, “the total collusion is there and this collusion must stop”.