OML30: Nationwide power outage looms as workers begin strike
Stories by Patrick Andrew
The worsening power situation in the country may take a turn for the worst as the 12 flow, compressor and pumping stations in OML 30, Delta state began industrial action over non-payment of salaries, among others.
OML 30 is jointly owned by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the Exploration and Production arm of the NNPC and Shoreline Energy International in partnership with Heritage United Kingdom.
The workers numbering 180 abandoned their stations yesterday in protest against their managements’ failure to meet their obligations to them.
The immediate implication of the work-to-rule would be to shutdown the Utorogu Gas Plant meaning that gas needed to power these stations will be cut off resulting to cut in power supply.
Apart from having serious implication Delta State, the catchment areas and beyond are to suffer the consequence. The workers, who are aware of the larger implication as they hope electricity supply in the country, could be grounded in the next 48 hours.
Development monitored by Blueprint newspaper showed that the striking workers deserted their workstations, and converged at Oleh in solidarity, singing Aluta continua songs.
The personnel under the auspices of OML 30 Inter Global Procurement Energy Services, IGPES, Workers /Stakeholders/Forum, had in a notice of industrial action, to the Operate and Maintain, OM, Manager, IGPES, Oleh, dated January 6, informed him that they (workers) would shut down the facilities today, effective Tuesday, January 10.
The affected facilities are Olomoro Flow Station, Olomoro Compressor Station, 1 and 2, Oweh Flow Station, Oroni Flow Station, Uzere Flow Station, Uzere Compressor Station, Afiesere Flow Station, Afiesere Compressor Station, Kokori Flow Station, Evwreni Flow Station and Ughelli Pumping Station, UPS, all in Delta state.
A release signed by the leadership of the protesting workers said: “We are constrained to inform you that at a general meeting of OML 30 IGPES personnel held on 6th January, 2017 at Oleh FLB to discuss the above subject matter the following resolutions were taken after exhaustive efforts to resolve the issues with the location management without success:
“That the untold hardship suffered by OML 30 IGPES personnel over the non-payment of December, 2016 salary and other emoluments (leave allowance, leave buy out and public holiday), especially at the festive period can be best imagined than described. This is unacceptable to say the least.
“That at the last IGPES management staff briefing by the GM, Operations, at Oleh FLB on 23/11/2016, OML 30 IGPES personnel were informed of the Federal Government decision to change the operatorship of OML 30 from NPDC to Heritage/Shoreline Company. Regrettably, there has been no further communication on the transition process by IGPES management to staff as promised thereby leaving OML 30 IGPES personnel in suspense.
“That the relevant authority should urgently facilitate a meeting between Heritage/Shoreline Company and OML 30 IGPES personnel for a seamless handover to avoid any unpleasant consequences,” the workers said. They, however, noted:
“That sadly, OML 30 IGPES personnel were inexplicably denied Xmas condiments while Port Harcourt based IGPES staff were paid salaries and given Xmas condiments.”
“That OML 30 IGPES personnel tax clearance certificates are yet to be given to the personnel and some of the OML30 IGPES’ personnel pension contributions have not been received by their Pension Fund Administrators, PFA,” they added.