The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have threatened to embark on strike if the National Agip Oil Company fails to rescind the quit order given to Arco, an indigenous oil servicing firm.
NUPENG and PENGASSAN issued this threat on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen at the NUPENG secretariat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt Zone, Chief Godwin Eruba, recalled that a subsisting Federal High Court injunction had barred NAOC from taking any action till October 26, 2015 when the case between the Italian oil company and Arco would come up for hearing.
It will be recalled that Arco dragged NAOC and four others to court, asking the court to determine whether it was entitled, being a Nigerian company, to the exclusive right to be considered and granted contract, including an extension of duration of such contract.
Eruba called on the Federal and state government, National Assembly, Rivers State House of Assembly and other stakeholders to intervene in the NAOC-Arco face-off, maintaining that their members were going through tough times as a result of the situation between NAOC and Arco.
He also called for the immediate payment of the allowances of Arco workers between 2007 and 2012 at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants.
“Both Unions hereby resolve that, if NAOC is not cautioned, to rescind its decision and follow due process as required by the law, which includes demobilization and if Arco has to leave the contract, the Unions will have no option than to embark on a zonal industrial action to address the injustice meted out to our members.
“NUPENG and PENGASSAN strongly condemn the quit order given to Arco Petroleum (Nigeria) Plc by NAOC to vacate their plants at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with immediate effect to give way for Plantgeria (Nigeria) Limited, to take over the plant.
“The Unions hereby make reference to a subsisting Federal High Court injunction barring NAOC from taking any action till October 26, 2015 when the case is to come up for hearing.
“We draw the attention of both Federal and Rivers State governments to the plight of the Arco workers, whose entitlements of over nine years are at stake, if NAOC management carries out this inhuman order,” joint statement signed by Eruba and the PEGASSAN Zonal Chairman, Port Harcourt Zon, Mr. Azubuike M. Azubuike, read.
The unions also urged General Electric to immediately pay Arco workers their allowance, between 2007 to 2012 at OB/OB, Ebocha, and Kwale Gas plants.
They recalled that General Electric had earlier accepted the payment at a meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Abuja.
“Both Union also call on Arco (Nigeria) Plc to immediately put all machinery in motion to pay our members their accrued nine years terminal entitlements as workers will not leave the plant until their entitlements are paid,” the joint statement read.
UK inflation hits new 40-year high of 10.1% as food and energy price surge continues
U.K. inflation rose to another 40-year high in July as spiraling food and energy prices continued to intensify the country’s historic squeeze on households.
The consumer price index rose 10.1% annually, according to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday, above a Reuters consensus forecast of 9.8% and up from 9.4% in June.
Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, came in at 6.2% in the year to July 2022, rising from 5.8% in June and ahead of projections of 5.9%.
British 2-year Gilt yields surged on Wednesday morning after the release, adding more than 26 basis points to reach 2.41%, their highest point since November 2008.
Rising food prices made the largest upward contribution to annual inflation rates between June and July, the ONS said in its report.
“Supermarkets have had little choice but to pass on price increases from suppliers, themselves contending with unprecedented inflation in raw material and ingredient input costs,” said Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC.
“This has been particularly acute in labour and utility intensive categories like dairy, with reports of the price of a pint of milk having more than doubled in some stores since the start of the year.”
The ONS repeated that its indicative modelled consumer price inflation estimates “suggest that the CPI rate would last have been higher around 1982, where estimates range from nearly 11% in January down to approximately 6.5% in December.”
The Bank of England has implemented six consecutive hikes to interest rates as it looks to rein in inflation, and earlier this month launched its largest single increase since 1995 while projecting that the U.K. will enter its longest recession since the global financial crisis in the fourth quarter of the year.
The Bank expects inflation to top out at 13.3% in October. Conservative Party leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, one of whom will succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister on Sept. 5 after a poll of party members, are under increasing pressure to offer radical solutions to the country’s historic cost-of-living crisis.
The latest forecasts suggest the U.K.’s energy price cap could rise to £4,266 ($5,170) annually early next year from its current £1,971, with many households already choosing between heating and eating. The cap is expected to rise to more than £3,000 in October following the next review.
Real wages in the U.K. fell by an annual 3% in the second quarter of 2022, according to ONS data published Tuesday, the sharpest decline on record.
Despite average pay excluding bonuses increasing by 4.7%, the cost of living is far outpacing wage growth and squeezing household incomes.
“Today’s inflation figures serve as a further reminder to many UK households that they are facing a period of considerable financial hardship,” said Dan Howe, head of investment trusts at Janus Henderson.
“Consumers are already grappling with rising energy costs and surging household prices, all compounded by a lack of decisive action at the political level. Amid talks of strikes and energy blackouts, there is no doubt that tough decisions lie ahead of U.K. families.”
Richard Carter, head of fixed interest research at Quilter Cheviot, predicted that the Bank of England will likely respond at its next monetary policy meeting with yet another 50 basis point interest rate hike in a bid to combat inflation, and said there is no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis is going to get worse before it gets better.
“As such, there will no doubt be a lot of pressure on the next Prime Minister to help soften the blow and the Bank of England will continue to have a very difficult job on its hands,” he added.
External reserves sustains downward trend, sheds $337m in 2wks
Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $337 million in the first two weeks of August, maintaining its declining trend since the middle of last month.
Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that the external reserves fell to $38.882 billion on Thursday August 11th, 2022, from $39.219 billion at the end of July 2022.
This indicates that the external reserves has lost $563 million since July 18, when it commenced the latest downward trend.
Prior to July 18, the external reserves had maintained a 40 days upward trend, rising by $976 million to $39.445 billion from $38.421 billion on June 6th, buoyed by rise in the price of crude oil, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
However, analysts at Financial Derivatives Company Limited, FDC, attributed the declining fortunes of the reserves since July 18 to increased dollar sales by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in its bid to stabilise the exchange rate.
While projecting further decline in the external reserves, they however maintained that the increased dollar supply by the apex bank will lead to appreciation of the naira at the official and parallel market.
Making this projection in the FDC Bi-Monthly Economic Bulletin, they said: “The depletion on the reserves was majorly due to CBN’s supply of foreign exchange to stabilise the currency.
“The external reserves is expected to continue its downward trend as the CBN intensifies its efforts to stabilise the currency by supplying foreign exchange to the I & E (Investors and Exporters) window.
“Because of the country’s low oil production levels, high oil prices may have less of an impact on the country’s external reserves.
“A constant depletion of the external reserves is likely to discourage the CBN from supplying foreign exchange in the foreign exchange market. This could further stoke currency depreciation as demand outpaces supply.”
Nigeria loses N101bn worth of oil, says OPEC
Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged by 2.3 million barrels in July 2022 when compared to what the country produced in the preceding month of June, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed on Thursday.
In its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for August 2022, OPEC stated that crude oil production figures based on direct communication indicated that Nigeria’s output dropped by an average of 74,000 barrels per day in July.
This implies that for the 31 days in July, the country lost about 2.3 million barrels of crude oil. The organisation further stated that the average cost of Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, during the month under review was $105.12/barrel.
By losing 2.3 million barrels in July this year, it means Nigeria’s oil earnings fell by about $241.1m or N101.13bn (at the official exchange rate of N419.37/$) in the month under review.
Data from OPEC showed that Nigeria’s oil production in June 2022 was 1.158 million barrels per day, but this dropped to 1.084 million barrels per day in July.
The country had produced 1.024 million barrels per day in May this year, according to figures released by OPEC on Thursday.
The Federal Government, operators and experts have consistently fingered crude oil theft in the Niger Delta as the major reason for Nigeria’s poor output and its continued failure to meet the monthly oil production quota approved by OPEC.
The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr. Muda Yusuf, blamed the challenges in the oil sector on the high level of insecurity across the country.
This, he said, had continued to discourage investors in the sector, leading to lower production of crude oil and lower earnings for Nigeria despite the increased cost of crude.
He said, “Investors in the oil and gas sector continue to lament the challenges posed by insecurity, oil theft, unstable policies and inappropriate fiscal regimes.
“The downstream sector has continued to be weighed down by the pricing regimes and the regulatory environments which have continued to dim the growth prospects in the sector.”
Meanwhile OPEC stated that crude oil prices dipped in July, as against their costs in June, adding that crude in OPEC Reference Basket fell by $9.17 or 7.8 per cent month-on-month in July to average $108.55/barrel.
“Oil futures prices remained highly volatile in July, amid a sharp drop in liquidity. The ICE Brent front month declined $12.38 or 10.5 per cent in July to average $105.12/barrel and NYMEX WTI declined by $14.96 or 13.1 per cent to average $99.38/barrel,” the global oil cartel stated.
- Kwankwaso denies rift with Shekarau
- Details of Tinubu’s meeting with Obasanjo emerge
- Reps Committees probes identities of contractors involved in N18.9b bush clearing contracts
- PSG crisis: Kylian Mbappe unhappy with Lionel Messi for taking side in feud with Neymar
- 2023: I will tell you who to vote for as my successor – Wike tells Rivers people
NEWS2 days ago
Kenya election: ‘It’s good news for the church’ – Apostle Suleman congratulates Ruto
NEWS5 hours ago
Blackout looms as IKEDC stops operations
NEWS2 days ago
Kenya election: Buhari reacts to William Ruto’s emergence as president
NEWS2 days ago
ASUU: Issue of IPPIS, UTAS has been resolved – Lecturers give hope of ending strike
POLITICS2 days ago
INEC displays voters’ register in Lagos
NEWS2 days ago
War: Russia offers weapons, military training to Africa allies, others
SPORTS21 hours ago
Darwin Nunez issues apology to Liverpool fans after showing "ugly attitude" in sending off
SPORTS14 hours ago
Chelsea news: Thomas Tuchel set for new deal as Anthony Gordon transfer stance emerges