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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pipeline surveillance workers in Delta shut down oil installations over non-payment of dalaries

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Workers of Mormar Marines Ltd, a pipeline surveillance firm in Oil Mining Lease OML 30, have shut down oil installations in Delta State due to the non-payment of salaries owed to them by the company and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The workers converged at the Pigging Manifold located in the Erhiemu oil field, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, to protest the six months’ outstanding salaries owed to them. They also alleged that NPDC planned to terminate their jobs without making any arrangements to pay their outstanding salaries.


Displaying placards with various inscriptions such as “You cannot owe us and disengage us” and “NPDC, stop this divide and rule,” the workers claimed that they were forced to shut down the facilities being operated by the joint venture partners, NPDC, Heritage, and Shoreline, as they could no longer continue working under such conditions.


A coordinator of Mormar Marines Ltd, Comrade Lucky Ofomukoro, explained that the workers had been protesting at the Pigging Manifold since the previous week without any positive response from NPDC. He added that in December last year, the management of Mormar Marines Ltd called them for a meeting where they were informed that their job had been terminated. However, after a protest, the company extended the job. Still, in March, the workers were told that the work had ended, and they have not received their salaries since then.


Another coordinator, Mr. Paul Agbama, lamented the “marginalization and oppression meted on the surveillance workers,” adding that their salaries had not been coming regularly. He said that they had decided to shut down the facilities to get their salaries paid.


Efforts to speak with the management of Mormar Marines Ltd and NPDC were futile as none of them were ready to comment on the protest as of press time.


The pipeline surveillance arrangement in the Niger Delta region may fail if the workers’ complaints are not addressed promptly. Therefore, the federal government should intervene and ensure that the workers’ salaries are paid, and their job security is guaranteed. Also, it is crucial to ensure that workers in the oil and gas industry are treated fairly and given the necessary benefits for their contributions to the nation’s economy.


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