By Chinedu Obike
As hope continues to rise for the possible flattening of the curve of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, 2,000 Nigerians might be on the verge of loosing their livelihood as a result of the disruption caused by the Covid-19.
Of course, that is the reason given by the global oil giant, Chevron Nigerian Limited, for its decision to slash its workforce by 25%. It says it’s constrained by “changing business environment” to “review its manpowe requirements”.
In a statement titled “Chevron Nigeria Reviews Workforce in Accordance with Business Exigencies”, the company says it will continue to evaluate opportunities to improve capital efficiency and reduce operating costs.
In a swift reaction to the development, the Chevron Branch of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, through its chairman, Ete Oyegbanren, said the affected 2000 workers have already received letters indicating that their services were no longer required, but were asked to reapply if interested.
The union accused the company of using the exercise as a ploy to engage expatriates that will replace the affected staff and urged the Federal Government to mandate Chevron to comply with the Nigerian laws and regulations guiding the oil and gas industry.
But the company’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs said the: “aim is to have a business that is competitive and have an appropriately sized organization with improved processes” and increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Some respondents who spoke to economyonline on the matter urged the Federal Government to promptly intervene to calm the situation and ensure that Nigerians are not sacked just to pave way for expatriates.