The management of ExxonMobil Nigeria has said it followed due process in disengaging and remunerating sacked Supernumerary (SPY) police personnel assigned to it.
Recall that the affected spy officials recently protested their disengagement from the service without due severance payments.
However, the oil giant in a statement sent to TNG on Sunday said it complied with the Supreme Court order and had fully paid the officers’ entitlements after they were disengaged.
Read full statement below:
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) duly complied with the recent Nigerian Supreme Court judgment which ruled that Supernumerary (SPY) police personnel assigned to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) were employees of the Company. Our compliance is evidenced in a letter dated July 13, 2018, which recognizes the affected individuals as our employees.
MPN’s core business is not security. So, as with other companies involved in hydrocarbon development business in Nigeria and elsewhere, we typically retain security services through third parties who are best positioned to provide these core competencies. This informed the Company’s decision to implement a separation program for the affected individuals still in active service with MPN.
On this basis, MPN offered a benefits package that competitively remunerates personnel in active service and those who had previously left the services of MPN.
Following the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, and in the interest of industrial harmony, an enhanced package was negotiated and agreed by all parties (including representatives of the affected personnel, their Lawyers and MPN branch of PENGASSAN) as a full and final settlement of the dispute at a meeting held on August 27, 2018.
In effect, new total cash and pension benefits deliver on average over 8 times their annual pay, and significantly exceed other competitive offerings for security personnel in the oil & gas sector.
The Minister, subsequently issued a directive on August 28, 2018. It included the following conclusions as jointly agreed by all parties:
- That all ads of picketing, harassment, blockade of company facilities, playing of loud music, defacing of company facilities and intimidation of personnel and other acts connected to the above be discontinued immediately. PENGASSAN and leadership of former security Personnel to confirm compliance 48 hours from date of meeting before the implementation of other terms of the agreement.
- That the separation of the security personnel be upheld.
- That MPN should pay enhanced benefits to the separated Security Personnel, including the SO8 in active service before July 13, 2018, as well as others that had left the service of the company, while former personnel who had died would be paid from their date of initial engagement as recognized by the judgment up to the respective dates on which their death occurred.
- Details of the enhanced benefits and other conclusions are contained In the Ministerial directive overleaf.
THE BLOCKADE BY SOME AFFECTED PERSONNEL:
MPN is disappointed that some of the affected personnel have chosen to continue on the path of blockading MM offices and facilities, harassment of MPN employees, threats of physical violence against MPN employees, and other actions that threaten production at one of Nigeria’s key Joint Venture assets, in direct defiance of the authority of the Minister of Labour and Employment, and against the advice of the MPN Branch of PENGASSAN and their own lawyers.
The continued blockade means a loss of access for employees, contractors and the family members who live in our residences. Continued denial of access to production facilities could impact the Company’s ability to safely continue production operations for the IV. Disruptions to these operations have the potential to significantly impact revenues accruing to the JV, Akwa Ibom State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
MPN has endured these adverse actions over the past six weeks in the hope that common sense will prevail and based on our commitment to the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of this unfortunate episode. We urge the few individuals who are still on the path of violence to rethink their actions, submit to the rule of law and constituted authority, listen to the counsel of their representatives, Lawyers and PENGASSAN.
As Operator of our Joint Venture with the Federal Government of Nigeria with a 63-year history of visible contributions to the development of the country’s Oil & Gas sector, we reiterate our deep faith in Nigeria and our commitment to operational standards and peaceful labour relations.
We are grateful to the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Minister of Labor and Employment and his team; the Akwa lbom State Government; leaders and youth of our neighbouring communities and our workforce for their support, understanding and patience as we all work together to resolve this situation.