Nigeria Oil Workers Strike Brings Nation To A Screeching Halt
Total blackout (below 1,600 Megawatts), Fuel Stations Shut causing Long fuel lines, unavailable public transportation and untold hardship are being experienced in Nigeria as Nigerian trade unions have shut down the offices of the country’s state-run oil company in protest at plans to reorganize the company. The Nigerian petroleum minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, announced on Thursday that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would be “unbundled” into 30 “profit-making companies.” Despite cutting monthly losses from around 30 billion naira ($151 million) in August 2015, the NNPC’s deficit still stood at three billion naira ($15 million) in January. The NNPC announced late that the reorganization had been approved and that the corporation had been divided into seven autonomous units.
The restructuring was opposed by two of the main trade unions in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, who issued a notice to their members to mobilize for a strike on Wednesday, according to a Nigerian News source. The strike raises the spectre of further oil shortages in Nigeria, which has already been hit by limited oil production due to attacks on pipelines.
The NNPC closed two of its four refineries—in the southern city of Port Harcourt and Kaduna in central Nigeria—in January after militants sabotaged pipelines, causing supply problems and costing the country $2.4 million per day, according to Nigerian power minister Babatunde Fashola. The Port Harcourt refinery was reopened over the weekend but the Kaduna refinery and another facility at Warri in southwestern Nigeria remain closed.
NNPC claims it had been importing the equivalent of 45 million liters of refined fuel per day in order to plug the gap, but this has not stopped huge queues amassing at petrol stations as Nigerians struggle to get gas.
source: Trendy Africa