The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has expressed its intent to withdraw all its members from both offices and field locations in response to the alleged sale of Eni Nigeria and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited to O and O Plc.
Eyong Survival, the Branch Chairman of Agip Group PENGASSAN in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, conveyed this decision during a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
He expressed dissatisfaction with Oando’s complete acquisition of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited and Eni Nigeria’s sale of its 20 percent equity share in NAOC JV to O and O, all without consulting or informing the union beforehand.
Survival pointed out that the union had already engaged in discussions with the company’s management once news of the sale of NAOC JV assets to O and O became public.
However, he claimed that the managing director had denied any knowledge of such a plan.
Survival also expressed concern that the sale of NAOC JV would potentially result in a significant number of its members losing their jobs, especially given the challenging economic conditions in the country.
According to him, “The Managing Director of Eni Nigeria, Mr. Fabrizio Bolondi, invited the workforce to a meeting on the 4th of September, 2023, and callously informed us that Eni has sold its 20 per cent equity share in NAOC JV, comprising OML 60, 61, 62 & 63, covering parts of Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Imo States to Oando Nigeria Limited, transferring all her assets and liabilities to O and O, without recourse to outstanding financial obligations to the workers, vis-avis their employee savings plan, pension and gratuity.
“It is imperative to note that the Union being the workers representative was not pre-informed before the commencement of the sales agreement.
“Not long from date, the Union on hearing rumours on sales of the assets, held a meeting with the Management on 12 July 2023, where the question was put forward to Eni Nigeria Management if they had any plan of selling the NAOC JV assets to O and O or any other Company, but the managing director vehemently denied any plan of selling the JV assets.”
Continuing, he said, “Instead the MD made presentations on planned injection of IPP phase 2 generated power to the national grid, as well as, possible conversion of OPL 245 to OML by the Government.
“By the announcement of the sale of NAOC JV assets to OANDO, over 3000 indigenous workers may be thrown into the labour market as the details of their sales transaction were not made known.
“At the moment, a lot of NAOC workers have suddenly developed some health challenges as a result of that callous announcement made by the MD of Eni Nigeria.
“The union position is for due process to be followed by Eni Management. The Union has ordered a total withdrawal of her members from all offices and field locations of the company until a proper agreement is reached with Eni Nigeria and AGIP Group PENGASSAN.
“By that withdrawal action, gas supply to Indoranma has been affected, daily oil production on 30, 000nbbls of crude oil has been suspended, about 10mscf of LNG gas to NLNG has been cut off, and about 350MW of Okpai IPP power to the national grid has been shut down”.
Manufacturers Cut Spending on Alternative Energy Sources as Electricity Supply Improves
Nigerian manufacturers reduced their spending on alternative energy sources by 21.25% to N60.4 billion in the first half of 2023, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
This decline is attributed to the increased availability of electricity from the national grid, which improved to 11.3 hours per day, up from 10.2 hours in the same period of 2022.
The report also indicated a slight increase in daily power outages to 4.7 times from 4.4 times in H1 2022.
These improvements in grid electricity availability have positively impacted the manufacturing sector’s energy expenditure, leading to a significant drop from N76.7 billion spent in the second half of 2022.
However, the initial high expenditure on alternative energy sources was driven by skyrocketing diesel prices.
The cost of diesel had surged due to foreign exchange challenges and the implementation of a 7.5% Value Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
Diesel prices in many states had risen to between N900 and N950 per liter, which threatened the production capacity of numerous manufacturing entities.
The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association expressed concerns about the potential closure of textile factories and job losses due to rising energy costs. Textile manufacturers, in particular, found it challenging to afford diesel at such prices.
The Chief Executive Officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited also highlighted the increased production costs associated with higher diesel prices.
While the improvement in electricity supply is a positive development for manufacturers, the industry remains vigilant about energy costs and their impact on production.
Dangote Group Subsidiaries Contribute N474 Billion in Taxes to Federal Government Over Three Years
In a significant testament to its commitment to corporate citizenship and financial responsibility, three subsidiaries of the Dangote Group have revealed that they paid a substantial total of N474 billion in taxes to the Federal Government over the past three years.
The disclosure was made by Hashem Ahmed, an official representing the multibillion-dollar conglomerate, during the opening ceremony of the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair, which focused on the theme ‘Sustainable financing and taxation as drivers of the new economy.’
The Dangote Group, led by its President Aliko Dangote, stands as not only the largest private-sector employer but also the country’s leading taxpayer. The remarkable N474 billion contribution was primarily made by Dangote Sugar, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Salt.
Also, the group has a longstanding history of extensive financial support, empowerment initiatives, corporate social responsibility programs, sponsorships, and philanthropic endeavors, amounting to several billions of naira.
Hashem Ahmed also expressed the group’s satisfaction with the Federal Government’s commitment to tax reform policies aimed at broadening the tax base and providing essential funding for infrastructure development in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, who spoke at the event, announced the government’s comprehensive plan to support small businesses and startups amid Nigeria’s economic challenges.
The plan includes a N75 billion investment by March 2024 to bolster the manufacturing sector, grants for microbusinesses in every local government, and a N75 billion fund to support up to 100,000 startups and MSMEs at favorable interest rates repayable over 36 months.
The government has also initiated partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft and the African Development Bank, signaling a bright future for Nigeria’s economic growth and innovation.
Dangote Industries Set to Revolutionize Agriculture Industry with Mega Merger, Creating Dangote Foods Plc
Dangote Industries Limited has unveiled plans for a merger that will give rise to a formidable entity known as Dangote Foods Plc.
This colossal conglomerate is poised to transform the agriculture industry and enhance food security across the nation.
The merger will combine three subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited, including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Salt, and Dangote Rice, resulting in a diversely profitable mega-company.
The fusion, scheduled for completion by the end of 2023 pending regulatory approvals, promises to yield significant benefits for all stakeholders, notably shareholders.
Dangote Sugar Refinery’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, highlighted the merger’s strategic importance, stating its potential to create substantial shareholder value.
The amalgamation will not only generate cost-saving synergies but also expand product offerings and revenue streams.
Dangote Foods Plc is set to become a powerhouse in the market, boasting a wide array of products, including sugar, salt, tomato, and rice, among others. This merger will facilitate broader distribution capabilities and increased operational efficiency through synergy.
The journey towards this monumental merger began when Dangote Sugar Refinery notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited of its intention to merge with NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Dangote Rice Limited, both subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited.
This move marks a pivotal moment in the corporate history of Nigeria, with Dangote Industries Limited reaffirming its commitment to driving growth, innovation, and food security for the nation.
As regulatory approvals progress, Dangote Foods Plc is poised to emerge as a prominent player in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the country.
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