Chevron Nigeria Limited has announced it will lay off a quarter of its work force.
The firm said Friday it was “reviewing its manpower requirements in the light of the changing business environment”.
The company said it will continue to evaluate opportunities to improve capital efficiency and reduce operating costs.
“In this process, the company will be streamlining its workforce and improving service delivery and overall performance at all levels,” the company said in a statement signed by Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs.
The statement noted that the aim is to have a business that is competitive and an appropriately sized organisation with improved processes.
“This will increase efficiency and effectiveness, retain value, reduce cost, and generate more revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, the new organisational structures will, unfortunately, require approximately 25 per cent reduction in the work force across the various levels of our organisation.
“It is important to note that all our employees will retain their employment until the reorganisation process is completed,” he noted.
Chevron says it supports the Nigerian government in its objectives and efforts to build a prosperous Nigeria.
It said in the area of employment generation, the company has several social investments which are helping to provide employment for thousands of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has vowed to resist the move “with all available tools”.
In a statement issued by Chevron Branch of PENGASSAN and signed by its Branch Chairman, Ete Oyegbanren, and Branch Secretary, Lavin Aghaunor, the union claimed the affected workers have already been locked out from the office by Chevron Nigeria Limited under the guise of COVID-19 restrictions.
The union called on the Federal Government to intervene by directing Chevron to comply with Nigerian laws and regulations in the oil and gas industry.
It appealed to the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that Nigeria’s national interest is protected in this unfolding situation.
Part of its statement is reproduced below:
“All 2,000 workers were ‘constructively dismissed’ and then asked to reapply for fresh jobs while 600 of them are already penciled down to be sacked at the end of the fresh recruitment based on a pseudo reorganization of the company.
“Chevron Management experimented with Work From Home (WFH) since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020 and discovered that since Nigerians can work from their homes during the lockdown period using internet connection, the same work being done by Nigerians here can be done remotely by Americans from the US hence the move to sack 600 Nigerians and replace them with Americans who would be working remotely from the US.
“This is a case of worsening the unemployment situation in Nigeria and using same to address those of America.
“Chevron Management is boasting that the President of Nigeria cannot dictate to them how to run the company, despite the fact that NNPC owns 60 per cent of the Joint Venture.”
“The 600 workers that are being sacked are primarily lower cadre employees whose salaries are negligible when compared with the humongous emoluments paid to their American expatriates’ counterparts.
“Recall that the FG pays 60 per cent of the massive salaries and allowances of these expatriates and Chevron Management plans to engage more expatriates in America who will replace the 600 Nigerians currently being sacked in the current scheme.
“To worsen matters, none of the top management of the company including the chairman and managing director who earn the chunk of what constitute high opex is affected by the sack, instead it is the same top management that chooses to sack 600 lower level workers whose only crime is working hard to sustain Nigeria’s oil and gas production even in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.”