The House of Representatives is to carry out investigation into the current graduates recruitment by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to determine how many persons were recruited from the various host communities.
Adopting a motion of urgent public importance, the House directed the NNPC and the management of both Warri and Kaduna Refineries to reinstate about 470 casual workers from the host communities recently sacked from the two companies pending the investigation by the House committee on public petitions.
Sponsor of the motion, Rep. Thomas Eveyitomi informed the House that that “in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging Nigeria and the world at large, the management of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) have gone ahead to sack over 300 casual staffs of the Refinery, despite the Federal Government directives that no government agency or private establishment should sack or lay off any of its staff.”
He alleged that all the affected persons are indigenes of the host communities where the Refinery is located, which is made up of Itsekiri and Urhobo communities.
He reminded the House of a petition submitted to the House on behalf of the host communities seeking an investigation of the employment status of indigenous workers with Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company.
According to him, without respect to the House Committee on Public Petitions, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation went ahead to recruit 1,050 graduate trainees against the resolution and recommendations of the committee.
He alleged that this recruitment did not reflect the principles of fairness as enshrined in Section 28(2) of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act which provides inter alia that “the Board shall ensure that the operator or project promoter maintains a reasonable number of personnel from areas it has significant operation”.
He said further that while the casualization status of these workers and the non-concession to the host communities in the recent recruitment of graduates trainees is a matter before the House committee on public petitions, the management of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company has gone ahead to lay off over 300 indigenous staffs against the clear and unambiguous directive of the Federal Government that no worker should be dropped or sacked at this precarious time that the country is passing through.
He expressed concern that if the House fails to take immediate steps to arrest the situation, there may likely be a breakdown of law and order and interruption of the smooth operations of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company and its subsidiaries.
Contributing to the motion, Rep Samaila Suleiman said about 170 workers of Kaduna Refinery host community were similarly sacked by the management of the organisation and also sought that they are recalled.