Unions representing oil workers from Nigeria’s two main oil companies say they are planning to launch an indefinite strike. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said the strike would start today. "The strike will affect all operations in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, as members will be withdrawn from all oil and gas installations," the oil workers’ unions said in a joint statement.
The workers are demanding the adoption of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is aimed at addressing all issues threatening the country’s oil and gas sector. They have also called on the government to manage corrupt labor practices carried out by the government and oil companies. The strike is also in protest against “the inability of the government to carry out turnaround maintenance of the refineries" and its failure to reduce gas prices after global oil prices dropped.
The Nigerian government has been accused of failing to maintain the refineries and fight pipeline vandalism. The workers have also demanded that the government work to improve the country’s neglected roads. The unions added that the strike would not end until the government and operators showed “a strong commitment” to resolve the problems they face. Although Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer, it imports most of its fuel from other nations due to a lack of refining capacity. Despite the abundance of natural resources in Africa’s biggest economy, a large number of Nigerian people live in poverty.