NNPC surveillance guards protest non-payment of 10-month salary arrears in Enugu

By Anthony Nze-Adibe, Enugu on 18/08/2020

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Igwe Okonweze addressing the protesters at NNPC Depot Emene, near Enugu on Monday
Igwe Okonweze addressing the protesters at NNPC Depot Emene, near Enugu on Monday

Again,  the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Pipeline Surveillance Contractors Monday protested non-payment of 10-months salary arrears by UTM Offshore Limited, NNPC contractor in Enugu.

The Security Guards Contractors who keep watch on  petroleum pipelines from Ishiagu Ebonyi State to Emene in Enugu State on Monday carried placards with various inscriptions as they chanted "NNPC pay us our 10 months salary arrears,"  "Our children are dying of hunger while we are working day and night," "We can't pay our children hospital bills " and other similar pitiable songs , marched to the NNPC Depot at Emene,  Enugu.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read,  "NNPC/NPSC pay your contractors,"  "We are loosing our workers to hunger because of non-payment of salary," "Mr Keneddy of UTM is on the run make,  yourself available," "We are tired of stories from NNPC/NPSC tower Abuja".

However,  the leader of the security guards, His Royal Highness, Igwe Charles Okonweze,  who briefed newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the Depot Manager,  Mrs Onyinye Okeize, said that for ten months the security guards were not paid their salary arrears, noting that such treatment was unfair and inhuman.

Igwe Okonweze also said that it was against all natural justice to owe a worker his wages, querying the rationale behind the long period of non-payment of contractors' salaries even when their counterparts in the West and Northern parts of the country have been paid up to date their entitlements. 

The traditional ruler said that through their services, NNPC was able to move oil products from Port-Harcourt to Enugu Depot after, over 15 years the depot was abandoned and forgotten.

The  Depot Manager, nonetheless,  declined comment on the development,  but Igwe Okonweze, said "the manager advised us to go to Port-Harcourt where our contractors had their offices or in alternative go to Abuja. 

"It is only in Nigeria that somebody will be working at the end of the month, you will be told stories. How will you feed your family.

"Our counterpart contractors from West and Northern Nigeria had been paid without story telling from any quarters, even when it is recorded that the west and northern counterpart incurred some losses more than the UTM company. 

"Why should our case be different, if it is not injustice and unfair-play targeted against the Southeast as usual, and a ploy to sabotage the effective functioning of the Enugu Depot again." 

Posted 18/08/2020 06:59:45 AM


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