Lawmakers of both chambers of the national assembly have expressed dissatisfaction with the recent reforms at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the senate particularly describing it as “illegal”.
Last week, Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, announced that the federal government was planning to unbundle the corporation into profitable companies.
Responding, the house of representatives mandated its committee on petroleum to ensure that the unbundling was not carried out.
This followed the motion of Agom Jarigbe, representative of Ogoja/Yala constituency in the house of representatives, arguing that the president ought to have sent an executive bill to the assembly before any restructuring.
However, on Tuesday, Kachikwu announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the unbundling of the corporation into seven independent units.
He listed the new units as upstream, downstream, refineries, ventures, gas and power, corporate planning and services, and finance and accounts, disclosing the names of the new heads of the units.
Commenting on the development at plenary on Wednesday, Olusola Adeyeye, chief whip of the senate, described the exercise as “illegal”.
Adeyeye urged the senate to investigate the issue, wondering why the federal government did not consult the national assembly “before repealing the enabling law that set up the organisation”.
Apart from the lawmakers, some oil workers are also unhappy with the restructuring.
On Wednesday, members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) shut down the operations of the NNPC nationwide in protest of Tuesday’s unbundling.
Members of staff and management of the corporation arrived their various offices to discover that they could not gain entrance following the total strike.
The immediate impact of the strike will be nationwide fuel scarcity as products will not be lifted by NUPENG.
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