- N’Assembly Investigates Alleged Expatriate Quota Breach at ExxonMobil
The National Assembly has commenced an investigation into an alleged breach of expatriate quota by the management of ExxonMobil Nigeria.
The action was reportedly prompted by the allegation levelled against the company by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria over the sacking of some Nigerian workers and replaced with expatriates.
The union had embarked on an industrial action in December last year and two times this year, citing alleged indiscriminate disengagement of Nigerian workers, especially labour union officials, their replacement with expatriates, and aiding capital flight as reasons.
It was gathered that the National Assembly’s joint committee on local content had demanded that the company should furnish it with evidence that it had not violated the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
The Secretary, Lagos State Chapter of PENGASSAN, Mr. George Olumoroti, had cited an instance when the company reportedly disengaged three Nigerian workers and replaced them with 28 expatriates, each of who was said to be entitled to $1,600 per day as salary and allowances.
Protesting the action, the workers had withdrawn their services from all oil and gas installations belonging to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, the Nigeria’s ExxonMobil arm, causing it to lose about 660,000 barrels per day.
The Vice Chairman, ExxonMobil branch of PENGASSAN, Mr. Gbenga Ekundayo, told our correspondent that the union had also received a directive from the National Assembly to provide detailed information about the issue.
Speaking on the failure of the company to honour an agreement reached during a tripartite meeting with the senior staff union and the Ministry of Labour and Employment that none of the workers that participated in a protest in December would be sanctioned, he said the National Industrial Court of Nigeria and Industrial Arbitrary Panel had waded in.
According to him, the IAP Panel will require a report from a reconciliatory committee that will be constituted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to address the issue.