The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. will meet with union officials after workers protesting the announced split of the state-owned oil company blocked the entrance to the NNPC’s headquarters on Wednesday.
The Petroleum Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, or Pengassan, said it opposed the move to split the NNPC into five units, which was announced by Managing Director and Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister of State Emmanuel Kachikwu on Tuesday. The move violates the law, the union said in a statement, which also raised concern about workers’ benefits.
Protesters prevented staff from getting into the NNPC building in the capital Abuja, said spokesman Ohi Alegbe. “The management will discuss with them,” Alegbe said, without specifying which groups would be engaged in the talks. “I couldn’t enter my office today.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to revamp the NNPC and rid it of corruption that multiple probes have said is endemic. The company lost 267 billion naira ($1.34 billion) last year after being dragged down by its refining and oil producing businesses as the finances of Africa’s top crude exporter were battered by a slump in crude prices.