The nation may be heading for another round of fuel scarcity
following plans by workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) to embark on an industrial action if the management
of the Corporation failed to heed their requests.
The workers are
among other issues, requesting the management to broker an agreement
with them on how it intends to adequately fund the in-house pension fund
operated by the Corporation.
According to LEADERSHIP, the development follows the
withdrawal of the licence to operate the said in-house pension fund by
the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
It was learnt that as at December 31, 2012, the deficit in the pension scheme was N133.56 billion.
workers which gave 12am midnight deadline to the management of NNPC are
set to down tools starting from 1am midnight if the issue was not
resolved by then.
A text message sent to journalists yesterday by
the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria
(PENGASSAN) warned that the workers would down-tools if the 12am
midnight deadline it gave to the management of the NNPC was not met.
from requesting the NNPC management to furnish them with funding plans
for the staff pension, the oil workers are also demanding the
commencement of the planned Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the
refineries as well as restoration of crude supply to the refineries.
are approval and adequate funding of the pension system, embarking on
TAM of refineries and restoration of crude supply to refineries,”
PENGASAN said in the text message
The LEADERSHIP also gathered that
PenCom’s decision to withdraw the license of NNPC Pension Fund Limited
was based on allegations that the company have overtime failed to meet
up with extant requirements in its operation of the fund.
letter which was addressed to the group managing director of NNPC by the
acting director-general of PenCom, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, the commission
stated its knowledge of NNPC’s unwillingness to comply with extant
provisions in the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004.
It stated that it
had in 2006 granted the NNPC temporary approval to operate the Pension
Fund as a Close Pension Fund Administrator (CPFA), pending compliance of
guidelines to be issued by the provision of the PRA 2004.
letter dated September 8, 2014, also highlighted the conditions upon
which the operational approval was granted to the NNPC, conditions it
said the Corporation has failed to meet, consequently resulting in the
withdrawal of the license.
In the letter, PenCom cited Section 50
(1) (g) of the PRA and clause (b) (i) of the approval conditions which
provide that the scheme shall be fully funded at all times and that any
shortfall shall be made up within 90 days.
The letter further
stated that the “NNPC has breached this condition considering that the
scheme has remained in deficits since inception in 2006.”
NNPC in a statement last night by its spokesman Ohi Alegbe, said that
in a fresh directive dated 15 September, 2014, “PENCOM stated that the
Commission had granted the NNPC a transition period of 12 months within
which to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the PRA 2014.”
the corporation appealed to the leadership of the industrial unions to
exercise restraint while it embarks on extensive engagement with PENCOM
to resolve the issues.
It noted that NNPC Pension Fund Limited has
complied with the provisions of the PRA 2014, by transferring assets in
equities, bonds, certificates of deposits and other marketable
securities to the custody of Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) for
management as directed by PENCOM since 2006.
The corporation further called on members of the public to avoid panic buying over the strike action threat.