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Nigeria Loses N149bn in One-Day Oil Workers’ Strike Over Minimum Wage Dispute

Nigeria may have lost approximately N148.8 billion in oil revenue on Monday due to an industrial action by the Organised Labour in protest of the Federal Government’s proposed N60,000 minimum wage.

According to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigeria produces 1,281,478 barrels of crude oil daily (excluding condensates). With Brent crude trading at $78.27 per barrel and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s exchange rate at N1,483.5, the strike’s impact on oil production led to significant financial losses.

The strike was spearheaded by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). Both unions had vowed to shut down oil installations nationwide. On Sunday, PENGASSAN instructed its members to block all upstream oil installation entrances, leading to widespread compliance and production disruptions on Monday.

An industry source confirmed the significant compliance by union members, emphasizing the action’s intent to pressure the government.

Calculations based on the daily production volume, Brent crude’s Monday price, and the official exchange rate indicate a loss of about N148.8 billion in just one day.

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Earlier reports revealed that PENGASSAN had issued directives to enforce the blockade of upstream oil installations starting Monday. A notice from PENGASSAN’s Lagos Zone Public Relations Officer, Juliana Adenike, outlined strict compliance measures, including a “no entry and exit” policy at offices and mandatory red or PENGASSAN attire for all zonal, branch, and chapter executives.

Both PENGASSAN and NUPENG had mandated their National Executive Councils to initiate an indefinite strike from Monday. The letters from the unions directed members to halt all operations across the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil sectors, except for safety personnel.

PENGASSAN’s letter, signed by General Secretary Lumumba Okugbawa, cited the breakdown of minimum wage negotiations with the government as the strike’s impetus. NUPENG’s letter, signed by General Secretary Afolabi Olawale, expressed the union’s commitment to the strike, criticizing the government’s lack of responsiveness to workers’ economic challenges.

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NUPENG emphasized its members’ readiness to fully comply with the strike directive across all oil and gas installations, operations, and services, underscoring their solidarity and determination in the ongoing struggle.