DPR cancels NOV’s licences over anti-labour practices

Department of Petroleum Resources has cancelled the operating licences of National Oilwell Varco Oil and Gas Services Nigeria Limited and NOV Oilfield Solutions Limited over anti-labour practices.

A letter signed by the Director/Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Sarki Auwalu, alleged that the firms were suspended from operating as oil servicing companies, for failing to carry out their functions in a manner consistent with terms and conditions of the Oil and Gas Industry Service Permit, as required under the Petroleum Act Cap P10 LFN 2004 and the Regulations.

 The Lagos State Zonal Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Eyam Abeng, said the cancellation of the licences was the height of the sanctions against the company for its insensitivity and lack of respect for national and international labour laws.

According to him, it was due to inability to abide by the rules and regulations governing the release of staff members, failure to emplace a Collective Bargaining Agreement and for contravening the extant laws and lack of respect for due process.

He alleged that the management had been engaging in harassment, victimisation, intimidation and sack of workers without following the laid down procedures for releasing of staff.

The company paid a fine $250,000 for the infraction in early 2021 and was slammed another $250,000 on September 29, 2021, with a deadline for payment on October 6, 2021, for deliberately flouting extant laws, procedures and guidelines, while the DPR directed that the terminated workers should be recalled and reinstated.

NOV Nigeria had been battling with labour, represented by PENGASSAN, as well as regulatory authorities and Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity over anti-labour practices.

But the DPR directed it to emplace a CBA and discuss with the union before embarking on redundancy in 2014. The management refused to adhere to the directive.

The firm’s promise, through its official, Lawal Idris, to respond to enquiries on the matter was not fulfilled till press time.

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