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‘How NNPCL Recruited Retirees Secretly Into Warri Refinery, To Be Paid N1m Monthly’ – Protesting Workers Allege



Support staff at Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) in Delta state have alleged that management of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), have brought in retirees – those that are 70 years and above, back to the refinery to be receiving N1 million every month, while the average salary of support staff who does the bulk of the work are pegged at N100,000.

BIGPEN NIGERIA ( reports that the workers, who have been protesting since Tuesday, made the claim on Wednesday while addressing newsmen, alleging that they have been denied salary increases and allowances since 2015, despite their crucial role in the Refinery’s Quick-Fix project.

They appealed to President Bola Tinubu and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, to intervene in their plight, citing “workplace slavery” and poor pay in the refinery.

Carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs, the protesters decried the management’s decision to bring in retirees to take their jobs, with some earning up to N1 million monthly, while they receive an average of N100,000.

“How can you bring retirees who have gotten, gratuity, pension with no energy, though with experience? We are energetic people, full with experienced and you are saying average of N100,000 is what befits us; this is workplace slavery and we are saying ‘no’ to it.


“We want to call on the president and we’ll meaning Nigerians to see that we are the ones working. We are the ones that should benefit. We felt starting off the plant without giving us any benefit is an injustice and that’s why we gathered”.

They vowed to continue their peaceful protest until their demands are met, seeking fair treatment and improved renumeration.

“We are not cursed people; we are support staff, and we deserve to be treated fairly,” said Lead Representative, Dafe Ighomitedo.


“We want the President and stakeholders to intervene and put an end to workplace oppression and discrimination., he added.

Continuing, he said, “We are being deprived of somethings due us, so we decided to cry out. We are seeking for intervention from the appropriate quarters, the GCEO and the EVP Downstream to come to our rescue. We are receiving virtually peanuts as salaries.

“We will continue to cry out and keep pushing our point. We are the ones that run the plant to this point; it is time to start off the plant, suddenly, they brought in retirees, those that are 70 years and above, to be receiving N1 million every month, while the average salary of people you see here, experienced hire, and our average salary is N100,000.


“We decided to run this plant. From the stage of pre-Quick-Fix, this team, we were the ones running the refinery to ensure this place is set for operations. We have been peaceful but it is sad that we are gathered here to mourn what is going on. We are saying enough of support staff slavery in this place”.

One of the protesting workers disclosed that operations at the plant are on a stand still as the “recruited retirees” who are being paid an average of N1 million monthly, are unable to do the job.

Representative of the protesters, Dafe Ighomitedo, said “we want the masses to know that we want to run the plant because we are the ones fixing the plant. We have laboured for too long to allow the plant not to run.


“We are the support staff of WRPC. We are the major players in terms of running the plant, so we are very optimistic that the Warri plant will run very soon, only on the simple condition that our welfare should be put into consideration”.

The protest has already affected operations at the facility, with empty tankers queuing up and other workers going about their duties.

Meanwhile, the management’s response has been evasive, with officials denying their positions or claiming to be unaware of the protest.


Officials of the company, including the Managing Director, Engr. Efifia Chu, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dele Igbadume, as well as the Team Lead, WRPC Corporate Communication Department (CCD), Rita Okonkwo, rebuffed attempts by our correspondent to get their reactions.

Despite the management nonchalant attitude, the protesters however expressed optimistic that the WRPC plant will become operational soon but insist on fair treatment and improved welfare.

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